Walt Patterson On Energy

Energy futures




Anyone thinking and writing about energy takes a view of the future, intentionally or not. I have been doing so explicitly since the 1970s. In 1975, for instance, I pointed out 'The options UK energy planners are ignoring'. Notes recently found in my files, for a lecture I gave at Cambridge Energy Summer School in 1979, entitled 'Energy and Purpose', show just how far back go the roots of my current research and writing. My book The Energy Alternative appeared in 1990. Later that year Friends of the Earth invited me to deliver their John Preedy memorial lecture. In my archives I recently found the text of my lecture, also entitled The Energy Alternative. It gives an uncanny early foretaste of my current work.

Thereafter I began to focus on electricity. Electric Futures: Working Papers for Transforming Electricity appeared in 1998, and Transforming Electricity itself in 1999. A Briefing Paper, three Working Papers, articles and speeches culminated in my book, Keeping The Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity.

I then developed the analysis further, in a project entitled 'Managing Energy: Rethinking The Fundamentals', with three Working Papers intended to be read in sequence. WP1 argues that we are Managing Energy Wrong. WP2 discusses Managing Energy Data. WP3 analyzes 'Managing Energy Technology'. They led to an ever more radical perspective, and a working paper, Beyond The Fire Age.

More articles and speeches followed, until and since I at last published my latest book, Electricity Vs Fire: The Fight For Our Future,





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© Walt Patterson 2017