Vaclav Smil has written another important book on energy which is quite amazing. Although there are a lot of important books about energy, as an author Smil is in a class by himself in terms of breadth and depth. -- Bill Gates
[Smil] has an eye for detail as he quantifies many historical amounts, providing a much needed reality check for any energy transition scenario under consideration. --The Oil Drum
• Offers a controversial, interdisciplinary thesis that challenges the expectation that significant progress in the energy transitions favored by President Obama's energy policy can be effected during his term in office
• Shows specifically why hopes for a rapid transition to a world dominated by renewable energy conversions rest more on a wishful thinking than on technical, economic, and social realities
• Tackles this important subject in light of long-term historical perspectives, providing both global and national coverage in a no-nonsense analysis of the constraints on the tempo of U.S. and global energy transitions
• Provides a foundation for more rational energy policies
• Includes case studies of energy transitions in eight nations
• Presents graphs of energy transitions on global and national scales, showing both common features and idiosyncratic patterns
• Features photographs of the containment vessel of America's first nuclear reactor and of a stationary gas turbine
• Provides a thorough bibliography
"Vaclav Smil has written another important book on energy which is quite amazing. Although there are a lot of important books about energy, as an author Smil is in a class by himself in terms of breadth and depth."
"Recommended. Students and general readers, all levels."
is the place to go for science-based climate/energy policy analysis, as nations are increasingly squeezed between growing energy demand and avoiding adverse climate change by phaseout of fossil fuel carbon emissions. Where will tens of carbon-neutral terawatts come from midcentury and beyond? Doable, but hard, Vaclav Smil looks unblinkingly into this abyss, drawing from his encyclopedic grasp of ecology and energy to explicate the historically unprecedented energy technology transition ahead." (Marty Hoffert, Professor Emeritus of Physics, New York University)