Walt Patterson On Energy

Energy futures: Articles

In 1978 the Chatham House journal International Affairs published Energy: Towards The All-Purpose Policy. 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. Twenty-six years ago, in 1990, Friends of the Earth invited me to deliver their John Preedy memorial lecture. In my archives I recently found the text of my lecture, entitled The Energy Alternative. It gives an uncanny early foretaste of my current work.

Cogeneration and On-Site Power Production published 'Full Circle' in its launch issue, January-February 2000; it was then widely reprinted. 'Decentralizing networks' appeared in its issue for January-February 2005. In May 2006 The Guardian published a piece they headed 'Time for an upgrade'. I call the original Climate-Energy-Infrastructure. In June 2007 Chatham House published Transforming Our Energy Within A Generation. The Chatham House magazine The World Today, July 2007, published 'Loft Insulation As Foreign Policy'. The launch issue of European Energy Review, November-December 2007, published 'Electric Opportunities'. In October 2009 the International Emissions Trading Association published 'Decarbonizing Electricity'.

The newsletter New Power, February 2011, published my article entitled Even Newer Power. The 30th anniversary issue of Modern Power Systems, January 2011, published my column entitled Electricity To The Rescue, February 2012 Smart grid? We can do better, and October 2012 'We can have a secure energy future – but do we want it?'. The journal Geopolitics of Energy, April 2012, from the Canadian Energy Research Institute, published my paper on 'Fueling Geopolitics'. In October I visited northwestern Denmark to see 'A Fossil-Free Future? The Danes Just Do It' (European Energy Review, 12 November 2012).

In November 2013 a working paper, Beyond The Fire Age, and my column in Modern Power Systems, January 2014, previewed what was to become my latest book, Electricity Vs Fire: The Fight For Our Future. The Energy Institute, celebrating its centenary, in its glossy monthly Energy World, February 2014, invited me to 'Look Back To Look Forward'.

Since I published Electricity Vs Fire I've been doing my best to publicize it. On 20 May 2015 I published an introduction to the book on the online news site European Energy Review, and on 26 May a note on China Dialogue. On 6 July the Green Alliance published my blog post, calling it 'We Need To Save Ourselves From Fire'.

The September 2016 issue of Modern Power Systems included my article asking ¨The utility model - has it outlived its usefulness?¨. The June 2017 issue included my article asking ¨Are you ready for the microgrid revolution?¨.

From 2013 to 2019 I was 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. In phase two it 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 entitled 'What Electric Business?'. It follows on from my previous papers on 'Redefining Electric Resources', 'The Electric Power Struggle' and 'Non-tradeable resources and the global electricity transition', the latter on the Chatham House website resourcetrade.earth. All four 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. You can see a preview of the new book here.

As we grappled with Covid-19, the Chatham House monthly The World Today published my piece entitled 'Out of the ashes, a new world'.

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© Walt Patterson 2024