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,

Since 2013 I’ve been chair of the Seoul International Energy Advisory Council, appointed by Mayor Park Won-Soon to assist the Seoul Municipal Government with their visionary project entitled One Less Nuclear Power Plant. The initial objective of the project was to reduce the ‘import’
of fuel and electricity into Seoul by the equivalent of a 1GW nuclear plant. It hit its target six months ahead of time. It is now in phase two, which has just published a book-length commentary called Reframing Urban Energy Policy: Challenges and Opportunities in the City Seoul, a goldmine of practical policies and measures. I wrote the preface to the book, which I called ‘Urban Challenge, Urban Opportunity’.

The Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy at Chatham House has now published my paper on ‘Redefining Electric Resources’, to follow my previous papers on ‘The Electric Power Struggle’ and ‘Non-tradeable resources and the global electricity transition’, the latter on the Chatham House website resourcetrade.earth. All three publications are what I call working papers, in preparation for what I hope will be my next book. Its provisional title is
Living Cool: Taking The Heat Out Of What We Do.

On 6 February
2020 I gave a seminar about the book at the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, and returned to the theme on 13 August, addressing students from the Indian NTPC School of Business.

Get Adobe Reader

© Walt Patterson 2024