Superpower

One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy
Narrated by: Michael David Axtell
Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The author of The Boom, “the best all-around book yet on fracking” (San Francisco Chronicle), turns his attention to renewable energy pioneer Michael Skelly, whose innovations, struggle, and persistence represent the groundbreaking changes underway in American energy.

The US is in the midst of an energy transition. We want to embrace renewable energy sources like wind and solar and rely less on dirty fossil fuels. We don’t want to keep pumping so many heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. A transition from a North American power grid that is powered mostly by fossil fuels to one that is predominantly clean requires a massive building spree - billions of dollars’ worth.

Enter Michael Skelly, an infrastructure builder who began working on wind energy in 2000, when many considered the industry a joke. Eight years later, Skelly helped build the second largest wind power company in the US - which was sold for two billion dollars. Wind energy was no longer funny; it was well on its way to powering more than six percent of the electricity in the US.

In Superpower, award-winning journalist Russell Gold tells Skelly’s story, which parallels our nation’s evolving relationship with renewable energy. Along the way, we meet Skelly’s financial backers, a family that pivoted from oil exploration to renewable energy; the farmers ready to embrace the new “cash crop”; the landowners prepared to go to court to avoid looking at spinning turbines; and utility executives who concoct fiendish ways to block renewable energy. Gold also shows how Skelly’s new company, Clean Line Energy, conceived the idea for a new power grid that would allow sunlight in Arizona to light up homes in cloudy New Hampshire, and even take wind from the Great Plains to keep air conditioners running in Atlanta. 

Thrilling, provocative, and important, Superpower is a fascinating look at America’s future.

©2019 Russell Gold (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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Superpower

Great Book, poor reading. Audible version not recommended, unless it is essential because of written word issues.

1 person found this helpful

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A great lesson in the basics of energy policy.

I'm a student in an energy policy program at a university in Pennsylvania. This book will be one that I will be recommending to my professors as supplemental reading material.

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Disingenuous

The author was pretty much talking their book the whole story. If the facts were not half truths they were certainly biased in favor of the author pursuits.

1 person found this helpful