Book review: Energy policy: a global perspective

10th April 2015


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  • Generation

Author

Gary Sims

Timothy Braun and Lisa Glidden/Zed Books/ £21.99/ISBN: 978-1-7803-2934-5

The cost and security of supply for energy have both moved up the UK’s political agenda in the past 12 months, so publication of this book appeared to be timely. Sadly, my expectations of it were dashed.

Energy policy at home and abroad is complex, and interlinked with a number of externalities. So I was looking for a book that would help to explain how these interactions drive energy policy and technology. The book is an easy read and the authors have gone to great lengths to explain how energy is sourced and in particular how it can be converted into electricity. However, too much space is devoted to information on production technologies and delivered at a level that can be found in a good school textbook. The authors look at the economics of the technologies at a regional and global level, but this still lacks the detail and discussion that would add value for the reader.

I had hoped that the book would provide the reader with a steer on the policy mechanisms or instruments that have delivered the intended outcomes for society and the environment, but this opportunity has been largely missed. The key conclusion from my reading of the book is that good energy policy needs to set clear goals and create certainty for businesses to make investment decisions.


Jonathan Foot, chief environmental strategy and compliance officer at EDF Energy


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