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Energy Revolutions

Energy Revolutions

Profiteering versus Democracy

by David Toke

A way out of the energy crisis – a green, cheap, democratic energy system is possible

In 2022 the world was plunged into an energy crisis. The Russian invasion of Ukraine put energy security in jeopardy, while profits soared for oil and gas companies and climate breakdown continued to accelerate. In a world of abundant renewable energy, how did such interlocking crises come to be?

This book exposes the energy crisis as an inevitable result of an industry run by and for corporate profit. Energy policy was never meant to favour sustainability or energy security – for decades, it has been shaped by corporate interests while hampering renewable alternatives. Now we suffer the cascading consequences.

Written by a leading energy expert, Energy Revolutions reveals the urgent need to radically increase state intervention, including public ownership, and deploy energy democracy for the public interest. Exploring examples of energy democracy around the world, it shows us how to fight back against fossil fuel interests, avoid climate catastrophe, and transform energy into a cheap, decentralised good for all.

David Toke is Reader in Energy Politics at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of nine books, has written in many newspapers and magazines, and is the founding director of the not-for-profit organisation 100percentrenewableuk.

'The fossil-fuel era was marked by inequality and dominated by oligarchs. David Toke provides a vision of how, in the renewable era, shared ownership of energy could lead to a future of equality and economic as well as energy security.'

- Molly Scott Cato, Professor Emerita of Green Economics, Roehampton University

'Toke doesn't mince words. His title alone says it all. What's needed is not a transition from fossil fuels, as COP 28 meekly requested, but a revolution in how we procure, distribute, and use energy. But Toke boldly goes further, calling for a revolution in who gets to develop and own our renewable future. In doing so, he takes on the axis of evil, Reagan-Thatcherism, and their destructive cult of neoliberalism that has shackled renewable energy for decades to the benefit of fossil fuels and their minions.'

- Paul Gipe, author of 'Wind Energy for the Rest of Us'

'The future of Humankind depends on the choices we make about future energy systems. Those choices will be ideologically-driven: will Western governments go on prioritising obscene corporate profits at the expense of genuine energy security, lower prices and radical decarbonisation? David Toke authoritatively demonstrates how insane that would be - and what brilliant alternatives are already available to us.'

- Jonathon Porritt, author of 'Hope in Hell: A decade to confront the climate emergency'

List of Figures
1. Pathways to Energy Revolutions
2. How Neoliberalism Wrecked UK Energy... and How to Turn Things Around
3. USA and Canada: How Pro-Corporate Policies Have Slowed the Energy Revolution - But How Far Can Biden's Laws Change This?
4. The EU: Neoliberalism Has Failed - So What Could Be Next?
5. Getting Green Energy

Published by Pluto Press in May 2024
Paperback ISBN: 9780745349251
eBook ISBN: 9780745349268

140mm x 216mm