Members’ Book Tells Unpopular Truths About Electricity

By Gregory Wrightstone

Our members Dr. Lars Schernikau (energy economist and commodity trader) and Dr. William H. Smith (Professor for Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis) recently published their new book “The Unpopular Truth… about Electricity and the Future of Energy” (on Amazon).

The book quickly reached Top 3 on Amazon in “Physics of Energy” and Top 10 in “Oil and Energy” (No. 1 in New Releases) and is available as a Kindle version and in German as well. The Polish and Vietnamese versions are in the making.

Lars and Bill have created a comprehensive overview of how the global energy economy works with a focus on electricity. This new book explains the fundamental reasons for the energy shortages that the world (particularly Europe) started to experience in 2021, which was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. In doing so, the authors describe – for our electricity markets – what can work and what never will.

Click on www.unpopular-truth.com for more details
published by Energeia Publishing, Singapore

Buy HERE on Amazon.com (also at other Amazon stores worldwide)


Electricity is to modern civilization what blood is to the human body. Understanding how electricity works becomes more imperative as its importance grows significantly with the increasing electrification of transport, industry, and heating and the power grid’s increasingly problematic share of wind and solar.

In addition to introducing the reader to electric systems and the costs of electricity, Lars’ and Bill’s new book touches on primary energy and transportation. The book concludes with thoughts on the future of energy and suggestions for energy policy, taking into account the new challenges of global efforts to “decarbonize”.

Dr. Bruce Everett, a specialist in global oil markets and international energy and environmental policy, writes:

  • Despite numerous policy initiatives and the expenditure of trillions of dollars on alternatives, fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy throughout the world, and their use continues to grow in absolute terms. To understand the reasons for this seeming contradiction, Lars and Bill have compiled a complete overview of how the global energy economy actually works, as opposed to the way it is presented in popular media.
  • In articulating important principles for electricity specifically and energy in general, Lars and Bill have scrupulously avoided taking partisan positions and are offering information that will be important and useful to everyone. This is an invaluable reference work that should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in energy policy, electricity markets, and environmental protection.”

Kip Hansen, science-research journalist and contributing expert on sea level and sea-level rise, wrote a detailed review on WUWT here. GoodReads recommends the book here.

Topics covered in the book include:

  • Primary energy vs. electricity
  • Wind and solar (or what is revered to as variable “renewable” energy)
  • Capacity factors
  • Installed capacity vs. generated electricity
  • Hydrogen and batteries
  • Raw material input
  • Transmission and distribution
  • Heat pumps
  • Energy shortages and energy starvation
  • Net energy returns (eROI)
  • Full Cost of Electricity (FCOE) vs. the marginal – most commonly used – Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE)
  • “Net-Zero”, “decarbonization”, and the “energy transition”
  • Concluding with a realistic future of energy and sustainability.

Please rate the book on Amazon if you consider it of interest; it will make a difference in getting its content to as many people as possible. As always, the authors are happy to receive your critical feedback and thoughts.

Click on www.unpopular-truth.com for more details and www.energeia-publishing.com for more studies and books from Lars and Bill.

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist; executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA; and author of Inconvenient Facts: The Science That Al Gore Doesn’t Want You to Know.

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