Historical Social Research

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Christian Marx: Failed Solutions to the Energy Crises: Nuclear Power, Coal Conversion, and the Chemical Industry in West Germany since the 1960s. [Abstract]

By the end of the economic boom in the 1960s, the oil crisis caused an enormous rise in energy prices. Chemical companies, especially, faced a huge challenge due to their dependency on oil as an energy resource and raw material. This paper explores the reaction of West German chemical corporations to the energy crises of the 1970s and their attempts to anticipate future energy crises. First, the companies tried to implement their own industrial nuclear power stations to cut costs and to become more independent from oil. Second, and with the help of the social-liberal government, they attempted to revive coal conversion technology.

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