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The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World par [Yergin, Daniel]
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Longueur : 790 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Description du produit

Revue de presse

It is impossible to think of a better introduction to the essentials of energy in the twenty-first century... 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 (Economist)

Compelling ... The book's range is impressive ... Yergin's gift is in distilling dry topics into a readable narrative (Observer)

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)

Daniel Yergin is the closest thing we have to an energy seer (Washington Post)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Quest continues the riveting story Daniel Yergin began twenty years ago with his No.1 International Bestseller The Prize, revealing the on-going quest to meet the world's energy needs - and the power and riches that come with it.

A master story teller as well as our most expert analyst, Yergin proves that energy is truly the engine of global political and economic change. From the jammed streets of Beijing, the shores of the Caspian Sea, and the conflicts in the Middle East, to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin tells the inside stories of the oil market, the rise of the 'petrostate', the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive corporate mergers that have transformed the oil landscape. He shows how the drama of oil - the struggle for access to it, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it - will continue to shape our world. And he takes on the toughest questions: will we run out; are China and the United States destined for conflict; what of climate change? Yergin also reveals the surprising and turbulent histories of nuclear, coal, and natural gas, and investigates the 'rebirth of renewables'- biofuels, wind, and solar energy - showing how understanding this greening landscape and its future role are crucial to the needs of a growing world economy.

The Quest presents an extraordinary range of characters and dramatic stories to illustrate the principles that will shape our energy security system for the decades to come. It is essential reading.


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 26966 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 790 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1594202834
  • Editeur : Penguin (20 septembre 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005HHSYJA
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5 208 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Comprehensive overview and history of the modern day energy complex 30 octobre 2015
Par A. Menon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The Quest is a must read to understand the modern day energy complex. The breadth of topics is remarkable and after reading it one comes out with a strong appreciation of the politics, history and economics of energy. The book is quite long and is split into 6 parts each focusing on a different topic but the book comes together extremely well and one feels like they have had a comprehensive overview by the end.

The author starts with the fall of the soviet union and how, among other things, low oil prices was a cause of economic strain given Russia's dependence on oil exports for foreign currency. The author describes the geology and political landscape of eastern Russia and the oil resources of the various former soviet states. The author discusses things like the petro state and discusses how Venezuela came to where it is today. The author discusses the Iraq war and the oil politics of the 90s and how the Asian crisis catalyzed consolidation in the global petro space as oil price collapse combined with growing engineering complexity required larger petro companies. The author then discusses how a decade later China growth changed the trajectory of demand substantially while supply remained relatively inelastic. In reading the first section one gets a sense of how the supply and demand side of oil have formed through time.

The author moves on then to the challenges of dealing with inelastic supply with growing demand. The scramble for oil resources was a real concern as resources seemed to be depleting while new oil supplies were becoming harder and harder to come by. The author discusses the growth of gas states like Qatar which was relatively unknown and came to be an extremely important energy player as it developed its gas field and became a huge LNG exporter. The author discusses how natural gas has become a major ingredient in power generation due to the cheap cost of turbine construction as well as relatively low emission content.

The author then discusses electricity and its history. He details things like the battle between Edisons DC and Tesla's AC adopted by Westinghouse. The history is really interesting and the author then discusses the growth of electricity demand and how the Nuclear reactor became a strong candidate for electricity supply. The author goes through the uranium purification process and how different purities of uranium isotopes lead to different chain reactions.

The author also discusses climate change and the carbon imprint of mankind. He discusses the history of the scientific investigation of the carbon cycle and is always careful to properly give the reader the background on how the fields evolved. The author then discusses last century and how the growing appreciation of the potential for climate change and how greenhouse gases could impact the ecosystem became a key political issue. The author discusses Rio and Kyoto for example and discusses different economic solutions considered for dealing with emissions. In particular cap and trade is discussed for SO2 and carbon taxes as well. The author gives the reader some economic theory and in particular Coase's insight that cap and trade is more economically efficient than taxation. The author discusses the challenges at the global level in which domestic politics prevent global solutions and apportioning blame is difficult given the legacy issues of carbon emissions being almost solely from developed markets.

The author then gives the reader and overview of the renewable space. The author discusses wind and solar and how the photo electric effect that Einstein won the Nobel prize for is at the heart of the photovoltaic effect needed for solar panels. The engineering history of solar is given as well as an understanding of how uncompetitive it was compared to regularly generated electricity. The author then gets in to how energy efficiency is an incredibly important part of the puzzle and regulatory standards over time have substantially improved our energy efficiency in things like autos.

The author then moves on to discussing the new age of electric vehicles. Which as the author highlights isn't so new and was an idea that goes back over 100 years. The author gives the background of the combustion engine and the growth of the US and European auto businesses. One learns of how the current auto landscape came to be and the new directions it is taking with companies like Tesla leading the charge in EV's. The author also notes the change in user demand from light trucks to the prius and now to EVs as gas and politics have evolved.

The quest is a great read as one gets an overview of so much of the energy landscape and all of the demand factors and supply factors and competing interests. Through reading it one gets a sense of the directions we might take in the future, the complexity of all of the driving factors and the lack of singular solutions to the growing need of more electricity pitted against the concerns for the environment. Its very enjoyable to read and informative throughout, Highly recommended
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Must Read for young scientists--before the NEA turns your brains into mush! 10 septembre 2014
Par George Mears - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Fair, factual, and well written. Excellent introduction to the world of energy for any adult, but even more valuable to any budding scientist in engineering, chemistry, biology--or even to the liberal arts majors in political science who only use calculators to compute tips at Starbucks. The geopolitics of the energy industry are huge. Few other books come close to walking one through the various energy alternatives in a readable and informative way while touching on both the positives and the negatives of the various alternatives. While Mr. Yergin hints at the fact that most of the environmental support of green alternatives is based far more on hype and manipulation of politicians and the media than on the economics and the science, I feel that more information on the economics of the alternatives would be helpful to put the real alternatives in perspective. Governments selecting winners and losers based on politics really distorts the incentive system and wastes time and fortunes in the process. But the author did conclude that most of the green alternatives aren't ready for prime time.

But the invaluable contribution of this book is in highlighting many of the challenges with the energy alternatives in such a way that it could ignite the entrepreneural energies of young scientists who may have the energies to come up with solutions. Solving a huge problem in one area of energy which really doesn't have the potential to supply energy on a major scale is nice. But solving obstacles to major advances in energy production (environmental breakthroughs, capacity, energy storage, transmission & distribution) could be game changers! Such research could end up powering nations and new industries. The individual or teams that can solve the problems around purifying or reusing return fracking fluids containing high levels of salts will and should end up fabulously wealthy because this will provide an alternative to high pressure injection wells that currently are the only realistic option for disposal. And deep high pressure injections wells were first identified as sources of localized tremors in some geologically active areas going back to the 1960s when they were being used throughout the country to dispose of some hazardous wastes.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating read 8 octobre 2011
Par Susanna Hutcheson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is very well written and organized. It's full of the history of energy, especially oil and coal. And it integrates that with the current situation.

The author believes we have an adequate supply of oil and he lays out his reasoning. While I was a believer in Peak oil before reading the book, I now can see why we likely have enough for a long time. Not forever perhaps. But a long time. The reason? New and expanding technology that makes finding the oil and getting it easier and more reliable and, more importantly, possible.

And what about the future? "What are the prospects for the future? One answer is drawn from an analysis using a database that includes 70,000 oil fields and 4.7 million individual wells, combined with existing production and 350 new projects. The conclusion is that the world is clearly not running out of oil. Far from it. The estimates for the world's total stock of oil keep growing. The world has produced about 1 trillion barrels of oil since the start of the industry in the nineteenth century. Currently, it is thought that there are at least 5 trillion barrels of petroleum resources, of which 1.4 trillion is sufficiently developed and technically and economically accessible to count as proved plus probable reserves. Based upon current and prospective plans, it appears the world liquid production capacity should grow from about 93 million barrels per day in 2010 to about 110 mbd by 2030. This is about a 20 percent increase."

Highly recommended.

-- Susanna K. Hutcheson
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Quest - Recent History of Energy, Security, and Environmentalism 27 juin 2012
Par Stephen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is must buy. I purchased the CD and Audible versions. The book traces the history of the current forms of energy with the focus on the positive and negative impacts on economics and environment, the politics, and the recent developments of the technologies. Interweave is the discussion on the geopolitics of energy and the environmental movement. Obviously, ever country is different in its energy use and policy actions. I found the sections on the automobile and energy transportation to be the best parts.

In general, the author is apolitical. He advocates two principles.
First, he does advocate that the use of the market forces to control the development of energy production and transportation as well as the control of the environmental impact. Although there is a need for government to use taxpayer money to fill the gaps were the market does reach (for example the US government seeded self-sustaining cooperatives to provide rural power generation / transportation which greatly improved agricultural and other remote industries as family homes), in general, command economies are inefficient since they are subject to market forces. Second, he advocates the use of all forms of energy: the traditional forms: oil, gas (all forms), geothermal, hydro, and nuclear (no carbon footprint), and the growing alternatives: solar, wind, and biomass. Diversification reduces the community's risk in the market and encourages competition. Gas is cheaper now and 1/2 of coal's carbon footprint but it was not always so. Changing technology and government regulations and it may make coal cheaper to the point it can not be ignored again. Thus, do not convert the coal fire plant but build a gas one. Do not close the nuclear plant or dismantle dams but encourage the wind and solar farms.

He is careful to point out to two dynamics with in current energy status.
1. Scale. Wind and solar are limited in their scale and predictability. Thus, their value is in being a supplement to the traditional forms that produce are mass scale, all the time, and in all weather such as coal, gas, hydro, and nuclear. When the wind blows and the sun shines, they will provide the energy grid with power and the gas / coal plants reduce production. When the wind dies and sun does not shine, the traditional plants increase.

2. All Electric Cars. The prediction of all electric cars is daunting to implement. First, there is no real infrastructure for electric cars when not at home or in the car pool. Even apartment dwellers do not have a place to re-charge and service stations cannot support a large electric fleet quickly with rapid recharge or battery swaps. Second, the electric production may have to double to replace the gas internal combustion engine. The analysis is that hybrid and all-electric will replace gas cars but not completely and not everywhere, especially remote areas with limited energy grids. In these places it is easier to carry your gas versus plugging in.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Myriad of Information; Alarmingly relevant to today and foreshadowing of tomorrow. 2 juillet 2013
Par Raj - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I initially read this book a few months ago, and decided to read it again after recently reading Yergin's previous book, The Prize. Everything now seems to fall into place as his new book takes off from the ending of his previous. The Quest is an absolute treasure trove of knowledge, information, and analysis regarding not only energy, but also the history, technology, politics, science (eg climate change), and globalization/economics of the last few decades, as well as the events of today, and projections for tomorrow. Additionally, the book is alarmingly relevant and up to date, yet still optimistic.

I'll admit, the book is not an easy read (at least for me). It's a long text that goes into great detail about some of our most important issues. However, the people talking about the book's 5 sections not "flowing" or being related to each other, overlook that Yergin wrote the book with the intent that each section need not be read in order. However, if you give this book your complete attention and commit to reading it carefully, you will be exposed to one of the best explanations of today's political and economic world. As a student, I feel that this book should be the staple for anyone studying business, economics, political science, engineering, finance, history, science, etc.

The Quest, along with The Prize, is a must read for anyone looking to grasp where we as society have been, where we are, and where we are going.
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