I learned a lot of new information that put events into a plausible framework.
From fossil fuels to renewables
for anyone interested in politics, history, or any aspect of modern society.
This is a great author. I have read “the Prize” at least 3 times and this is as good. It is a great overview of energy. What he has a unique gift for is letting the reader understand the primacy the quest for and acquisition of energy has on everything in our modern life. The book is thorough but fast paced and covers every aspect of energy and provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of both the recent history of the search for and development of energy sources but also a comprehensive understanding of where we are headed. Its also very level headed…I did not get any “political” agenda. Just the facts. There is no “coal is awful, we need to develop all renewable sources” or “oil is wonderful and will last forever”, rather there is continuous crituqes of previously expounded opinions and the reader can draw his/her own conclusions.
Finally the reading is perfect..well paced, not boring, just a great experience.
I could not recommend more highly..a great great book I am sure I will listen to again.
The book takes an overall look on the global economics of energy. And does it well. I now have a base level understanding of every relevant source of industrial, vehicle and electrical energy. Exactly what I was looking for.One thing, however. I strongly advice to google yourself an understanding of the scales of energy measurements. Things like global daily oil usage in barrels (~80 million), yearly electricity consumption of your home country (around 90 TWh in finland), electricity output of a mediocre nuclear power plant (700 MW where I'm from). That kind of info doesn't transmit very well in the book, and knowing it beforehand helps to understand what the writer is really communicating.
This book provides a broad review of the major energy sources, how they were developed, what is their current status, and the various energy security questions related to them. It appears well researched, and is quite interesting.
Note that the book does not discuss any future sources, or possible technological innovations, but is focused on the past and present of energy.
The performance is, in general, a good one, save for a strange production issue - there's no pause before starting a new chapter, so it's difficult to understand a new chapter is starting, and this is its title.
Story and business making sense.
The book for people who search a deeper understanding of the energy markets and the people around it.
The author, for making the story capturing and entertaining
Our energy chalenge
This book provided me with the big picture information I was looking for as well as pertinant details that explained whey things happened the way the did. If you are interested in gaining a better understanding of energy and it's importance to world politics and this book is for you.
I read the Prize many years ago and found it very interesting and insightful. Yergin delivered the same attention to detail in the Quest. Since the time period for the history of oil was only 22 years he filled the rest the pages with a discourse on all energy sources and problems with each source. In being able to get an indepth overview of energy including renewalble and nuclear I now have a greater appreciation of the problems that we face on this planet as well as potential opportunites. The book is so well crafted that I need to buy a hard copy to serve as a reference source.
For the most part I really enjoyed this book. Yergin does a good job of going through the history of the geo-political universe that has led us to this point as regards energy. While this book is very U.S-centric for the most part, he does investigate energy from a broad perspective in numerous parts, which adds to the depth of this book. What's more he laces his narrative with subtle historical aspects of the energy story that give it more depth than I was expecting. For instance, he talks about the people involved and the back story in some detail. This makes the book rather long, but it wasn't annoyingly so. In addition, this book was very timely and up to date. My biggest issues with this book were the seemingly glib glossing over of certain problems, especially environmental concerns as regards hydraulic fracturing (fraking) and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For instance, with the latter the author cites a NYTimes report that bacteria are consuming the oil and that the spill was just not that bad an environmental problem. I think this is a gross simplification of an important component of an important issue. Another problem I had with this book was that the author went into great gory detail about certain aspects of new energy (e.g., photovoltaic effect to make solar panels), yet didn't even mention certain emerging technologies that may arrive on the scene of energy production. For example, no mention of tidal power, which has been operating successfully in France for several decades. Granted this would fall in the tenths of percent of energy currently produced, but if your goal is to look forward to the "remaking of the modern world" one would think that more fully discussing these possible energy sources would be of value. Alas, no. This book is mainly about oil, coal, gas, wind, solar, and efficiency. Don't get me wrong, I HIGHLY recommend this book and think it essential reading for anyone interested in the intersection of energy, conservation, efficiency, and our complex global economy, but it could have been better.