Keeping the Lights On : Towards Sustainable Electricity

Overview

In Keeping The Lights On, Walt Patterson starts from a simple premise: that we are making a mess of energy, and this is endangering the planet. Using accessible, everyday language Patterson describes how we could do much better, outlining a different way to think about energy, what we want from it and how we get it.

Drawing on over 35 years of work from one of the leading voices in the field, Keeping The Lights On explains how we could go about improving energy security and ...

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Overview

In Keeping The Lights On, Walt Patterson starts from a simple premise: that we are making a mess of energy, and this is endangering the planet. Using accessible, everyday language Patterson describes how we could do much better, outlining a different way to think about energy, what we want from it and how we get it.

Drawing on over 35 years of work from one of the leading voices in the field, Keeping The Lights On explains how we could go about improving energy security and services while reducing costs and vulnerability, globally and rapidly. The book discusses the timely and heated debates surrounding energy and power, and emphasizes that electricity is about infrastructure; we have to stop treating it as a commodity. The result is a comprehensive introduction to the most important issues, providing the reader with innovative and expert ideas and solutions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It should be compulsive reading, if not compulsory reading, for all politicians and other players that determine or have a role to play in energy policy, and more importantly in tackling climate change."—Allan Jones, Chief Executive Officer, London Climate Change Agency

"Patterson shines his own penetrating light into the future of electricity, identifying some surprising possibilities He has a remarkable talent for explaining technical concepts in simple, compelling terms, and for drawing lessons from history that help define positive, possible futures. If you use electricity, you should read this book."—Ralph Torrie, Vice President, ICF International, Toronto

"Patterson thoroughly understands and explains the failures of the past that led to the dominance of centralized power systems. His inspiring vision for a decentralized future is a positive affirmation that we can indeed improve the health of the planet without hurting the global economy."—David Sweet, Executive Director, World Alliance for Decentralized Energy, Washington

"As ever [Patterson] provokes us to re-examine our own thinking about energy policy. Essential reading as we face up to new challenges."—Jim Skea, Research Director, UK Energy Research Centre

"A very important and timely book. Patterson persuasively challenges traditional asumptions about how we think of energy and electricity, and presents and exciting vision of an innovative and sustainable future."—Nick Mabey, Chief Executive, E3G, and former senior adviser in the UK Prime Minister's Strategy Unit

"Patterson carves out the most applied and practical of 'road maps' as to where we need to go if we are to deliver a genuinely sustainable electricity system for the future."—Jonathon Porritt, Chair, UK Sustainable Development Commission

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844077984
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/30/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 170
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Walt Patterson trained as a nuclear physicist before spending his life teaching, writing, and campaigning. He has published twelve books and several hundred papers, articles and reviews on nuclear power, coal technology, renewable energy, energy systems, energy policy, and electricity. Since 1991 he has been a fellow of what is now the Energy, Environment and Development Programme at Chatham House in London.

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Table of Contents

Preface to Paperback Edition v

Original Prface ix

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction Towards Sustainable Electricity 1

Part 1 Making Energy Sustainable

1 Making the World Work 5

2 The Energy Dilemma 17

3 Rethinking Energy 27

Part 2 Making Electricity Sustainable

4 Full Circle 45

5 The Electric Challenge 55

6 Generating Change 69

7 Networking Change 93

8 Decentralizing Networks 115

9 Getting the Story Right 123

10 Getting Energy Right 129

11 Sustainable Electricity: Changing Minds 135

Annex 1 Running the Planet 145

Annex 2 Discussing Energy: A Style Guide 171

Annex 3 Glossary 177

Annex 4 Further Information 185

Index 191

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