Walt Patterson On Energy

What they are saying about Keeping The Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity



"On energy - we've got it all wrong ..."

- Tom Turner, Earthjustice

"This is such a timely book.  Combining extraordinary historical insight with the sharpest analysis of where we are now, Walt 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.  As we go into a period of considerable turbulence, primarily because of the impacts of climate change, Keeping the Lights On will undoubtedly be seen as a very well-informed Guidebook."

- Jonathon Porritt CBE, Chair, UK Sustainable Development Commission

"Fashions come and fashions go in the energy world. Security of supply, climate change and market liberalisation have all vied for our attention. It's good to have one voice that's stayed constant over thirty years of turbulence and change. Keeping The Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity distils Walt Patterson's thinking over the last three decades. As ever, he provokes us to re-examine our own thinking about energy policy. Essential reading as we face up to new challenges."

- Professor Jim Skea OBE, Research Director, UK Energy Research Centre

“In Keeping the Lights On, Walt 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

"Walt 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 (WADE), Washington

"If you aren't familiar with Patterson's earlier works, this is the book that will  convince you that you need to re-think everything you ever thought you knew about the future of  electricity.”

- Prof David Fisk CB FREng, BP/RAEng Prof Engineering for Sustainable Development, Imperial College London

“Please read this book.  It demystifies and reorganises how we should think about energy, illuminating policies for creating a more resilient grid, strengthened not weakened by use of more 'free' infrastructure energy (wind, water, sun), less fuel (gas, coal, oil), and a two-way relationship with a very large number of consumers/generators.  We must meet targets for climate changing emissions (60% - 90% by 2050 some say) and I have long thought Walt Patterson's eminently sensible ideas are the way to do it.”

- Sara Parkin OBE, Founder Director & Trustee, Forum for the Future

“Keeping The Lights On is that rare book - one that really makes you think about electricity. Walt Patterson provides a clear and coherent vision of the challenges facing future electricity supply. Finding the right balance between success in competitive markets, the need for new investment, implementing an array of emerging technologies and cutting carbon emissions is a tough task for the electric industry - and this book makes a major contribution to identifying solutions.”

- Dr Simon Minett, Director, Delta Energy and Environment, former Managing Director COGEN Europe

"Walt Patterson's book is very prescient and has pre-empted many of the questions facing China's energy policy makers. It provides a bright guiding light among a sea of conflicting concerns. Keeping the Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity deserves to be read by all of us involved in energy policy development.”

- Dr Flora Kan, Chief Technical Advisor, China End Use Energy Efficiency Project, UNDP, Beijing

“Utility leaders will either be excited or worried after reading this book. If they are truly ready to provide customers with what they want in the future, such as comfort, illumination and motive power, then all will be well. If, on the other hand, they just want to continue to build bigger and better large power stations, they should be very concerned.”

- Dr Anthony White MBE, Managing Director, Climate Change Capital

"A very important and timely book. Walt Patterson persuasively challenges traditional assumptions about how we think of energy and electricity, and presents an exciting vision of an innovative and sustainable future."

- Nick Mabey, Chief Executive, E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism), former senior advisor in the UK Prime Minister's Strategy Unit

“Walt has done it again. Keeping The Lights On raises the right issues at the right time, as society starts to grapple seriously with our energy and climate challenges. As Walt demonstrates, challenging the energy status quo is key to unlocking the solutions we need.”

- Eddie Hyams, Englefield Capital, Chair, UK Energy Saving Trust

“Walt Patterson is the only writer I know who can turn an arcane topic like the ways we produce and the ways we use fuel into a book that both changes accepted processes and makes it all fun at the same time.”

- Andrew Warren, Director, UK Association for the Conservation of Energy

“Walt has got this exactly right. 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. Knowing what we know now, you would not implement such a wasteful and polluting electricity system as centralised power generation. As Walt has indicated, we do have to overcome the grid mindset of those who should know better, but this is becoming easier with examples in Woking, London and elsewhere, to roll out what is a new energy revolution.”

- Allan Jones MBE, Chief Executive Officer, London Climate Change Agency

“What can I say? Clearly thought out, simply written, and straight to the heart of the major issues in energy today. I can't think of anyone else who could bring together the technology, the economics, and the basic human relationship with energy that Walt has here. This is really great stuff.”

- Ronan Palmer, Chief Economist, UK Environment Agency

“A unique  contribution to help us understand how the energy services we actually want can be obtained in a sustainable way. Here are critical lessons to be learned on how to improve the economic and environmental potential in getting energy services right.”

- Kåre Tormod Nilsen, Project Leader, Probarents AS, Hammerfest, Norway


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