Top positive review
Pragmatic, realist analysis
Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2016
For the data enthusiast, Smil is an excellent read. Incredibly thorough (to a fault) in his analysis, Smil pulls no punches when discussing energy issues. He is a realist and pragmatist and anyone involved or interested in the alternative energy or electric car field would do well from his study to understand the real debates. What Smil does not do though is discuss the potential impact of increased demand for fossil fuel alternatives on the rate of technological change to accomplish this (he has underestimated the trajectory of this rate) and the politics of fossil fuel supply or impact on the politics of the major fossil fuel producers such as Saudi Arabia's more recent commitment to designing a $2 trillion 'post fossil fuel' future. Pair this book with Smil's 'Power Density' for perhaps the most technical analyses on the topic.