In a world of finite resource, using less is the only way to true wealth – apart from stealing! Using less energy – and fewer materials too – will deliver a better quality of life for ourselves, and for us all. The way that we confront challenges through innovation is perhaps our defining characteristic and our greatest strength (and sometimes our greatest weakness too if we aren’t careful about the side effects)
There are three “must read” books for anyone seeking to understand how the flows of energy and materials define our society and our future.
- Sustainable Energy – without the hot air, by David MacKay
- Sustainable Materials – with both eyes open, by Julian Allwood et al
- How bad are Bananas, by Mike Berners Lee.
MacKay’s book in particular was in 2008 something of a Damascene conversion for me – it is shocking to understand just how much we consume in comparison with our finite sustainable resources. This puts us as individuals and as a society in a very vulnerable position, and makes a strong case for focussing on digging ourselves out of that hole as fast as possible, entirely in our self-interest. The first two are available free online, as well as in printed form. How Bad are Bananas is great for giving context to less technical readers.
In January 2012 I was privileged to deliver the IET’s 2012 Clerk Maxwell lecture. I spoke on the subject of the many energy innovations coming to our homes over the next decade to help us transition to a sustainable economy, how these interact with each other and the consumer, and how to make them a success. You can watch the full shebang by clicking in the box below (45 mins of talk plus about the same again of Q&A), or just browse the slides.
Home Efficiency and Smart Metering: Smart energy – now it’s personal
Pilgrim Beart, Founder Director, AlertMe
From: Home Efficiency and Smart Metering: Clerk Maxwell Lecture, 19 January 2012, London
2012-01-19 00:00:00.0 Power Channel
In 2011 I gave a talk to the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Innovate conference about innovation as an engine for growth, and in particular how it has caused – and can address – our Energy challenges. Please click on the picture to view the video, or read the bullet-point summary below.
The Growth Imperative: The start-up growth engine
See Talk notes here.