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The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 790 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

It is impossible to think of a better introduction to the essentials of energy in the 21st Century ... above all, the value of The Quest is in the clarity and fair-mindedness of Yergin's thought ... the definitive guide to how we got here (Ed Crooks Financial Times )

Required reading ...The Quest is a masterly piece of work and, as a comprehensive guide to the world's great energy needs and dilemmas, it will be hard to beat (The Economist )

If you were in any doubt about what makes the world go round, Daniel Yergin can enlighten you ... a comprehensive picture of the nexus between power, politics and oil (Danny Fortson Sunday Times )

About the Author

Daniel Yergin is one of the most highly respected and influential authorities in the world on energy, international politics and economics. He is a recipient of the United States Energy Award for 'lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding'. Dr. Yergin received the Pulitzer for The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, which became a number one bestseller and was made into an eight-hour PBS/BBC series seen by millions of people around the world. He is chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the leading research and consulting firm in its field. He serves as CNBC's Global Energy Expert.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 26966 KB
  • Print Length: 790 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594202834
  • Publisher: Penguin (20 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HHSYJA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,802 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the most comprehensive and comprehendable book on the world of energy I have read to date.

Whether you are experienced with the energy business or a newcomer, the book provides you with insight and knowledge on most aspects of the energy business. Mr Yergin takes the reader through both historical developments and modern-day dilemmas in the world of energy, and has an exceptional ability to provide high-level context combined with details knowledge on more technical aspects.

Ranging from geopolitical issues in the Middle East and increasing energy demand in China to the politics of climate change and the technical difficulties of commercialising solar powar, Yergin has written a clear and jargon-free book that is a true masterpiece in the the energy world's library. In short, a truly remarkable book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In contrast to his previous epic of energy, The Prize, Yergin's updated offering, The Quest, deals with a far more complex, and controversial matter, energy diversity and sustainability.
The Quest begins with the familiar, and all too ubiquitous, energy source, oil. Following on from The Quest, Yergin examines the new developments within the oil industry, such as the return of Russia to the scene, the resource race around the Caspian, the rise of super majors, and the impact of conflict upon the oil market, specifically the Iraq war, and the tensions with Iran.
In the following chapters, Yergin examines nuclear power, and how events such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and most recently the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan have led to a popular and political backlash against nuclear power. The variety of renewable energy sources are examined, along with carbon neutral energy sources such as bio-mass, ethanol and natural gas. An entire chapter is devoted to the impact of climate change, although this chapter is rather familiar, and somewhat one-sided.
The real strengths of The Quest are the insights given to recent developments, such as Shale Gas and the process of Fracking, and the rise of major gas powers such as Qatar. The problems such as the slowness of the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and the logistics and opposition such processes arouse may be entirely familiar to those who follow current affairs, however the strength of this work is that it is included within a comprehensive and wide ranging study.
The conclusions may be unsurprising, namely that the current outlook of the doubling of energy consumption is unsustainable under current trends, and a diversification is necessary.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have not read "The Prize" so I can't compare. I launched into this 800 pages long book thinking that Mr Yergin would be able to sort out where we are and where we are going. He did a good job on the first issue but much less so on the second.

This book is a massive presentation of the present situation concerning the worlds energy production and the history behind it. As such it is sometimes quite interesting. The Chapter on Venezuela was even quite funny! The problem is that since the book is such a huge undertaking it is hard to combine and present the complete picture based on the various chapters. You get to learn about oil, coal, wind etc but where is the synthesis? It takes some time to read 800+ pages and that makes it even harder to take the conclusions you made after reading about oil and add it to the rest several days later.

In all of this presentation about how we ended up where we are today he brings up the question about "Peak Oil". This is one of the most debated concepts we have today in energy discussions. But after reading his book I must confess that his view in this is still unclear to me. If I understand him correctly we have not passed "Peak Oil" yet as some other experts believe but when will we? In my lifetime or in my children's or never? I really can't say what his view is and he is a world authority.

Some reviewers of the book have claimed that Mr Yergin is a friend of the big oils companies that dominate world energy production. I do not share these views. I think he is presenting the case of oil in a rather neutral way. Certainly Mr Yergin is no left wing politician but that makes him able to study these questions without any preconceived notions.
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Format: Hardcover
This remarkable book covers the whole subject of energy, its history, science, economics and politics. Yergin examines oil, coal, gas (both conventional and unconventional), nuclear power, climate change, the electric age, new energies, and roads to the future.

He notes, "In a carbon-conscious world, nuclear power's great advantages are not only the traditional ones of fuel diversification and self-sufficiency. It is also the only large-scale, well-established, broadly deployable source of electric generation currently available that is carbon free."

US nuclear plants require a licence from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate. These licences were originally granted for 40 years. In 1995 the end of the 40 years was coming into view for many plants. Without extensions, US nuclear supply would have shut down.

In the mid-1980s, the USA's nuclear plants worked at only about 55 per cent of their capacity. Now they work at more than 90 per cent of capacity.

Yergin points out, "The operating record of the nuclear industry had clearly improved, and substantially so. In fact, companies were coming to the commission to request permission for power upgrades, above what had been their maximum output, because of their increased efficiency. In support of license extension, the NRC launched a crucial new initiative to update the safety system that governed the industry, using new tools and capabilities." So the Commission extended licences for another 20 years.

Germany's nuclear plants supply a quarter of its electricity. In 2010 a new law extended their life by another 12 years.

By contrast, here in Britain, the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive will force the closure of 9.
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