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Integrated global solutions to our energy challenges

World Scientific


IMAGE: This is the cover for The Energy Conundrum. view more 

Credit: World Scientific

How can we meet the world's growing need for affordable and secure energy services in an equitable way while also containing climate change to acceptable levels?

That is the critical question of energy policy.

The Energy Conundrum: Climate Change, Global Prosperity, and the Tough Decisions We Have to Make gives a comprehensive account of global energy policy in a complex and rapidly changing world, with emphasis on fundamental understanding of the full range of moral, political, economic, social, and technical issues as they appear in different parts of the world. The book reviews the geopolitics of the fossil fuel industries, considers the growing energy needs of the poorest and most populous regions of the world, underlines the gravity of the climate threat and the urgent need to reduce emissions, and reviews the state of climate negotiations.

International cooperation is vital to the success of energy policy. The book considers the priorities and perspectives of major developing countries, such as India and China, as well as those of the West. Other chapters focus on the main factors that can help us to reconcile different energy policy objectives. These include energy efficiency and energy technology (e.g. the rapid rise of renewables), energy finance, energy markets, and energy regulation, including options for carbon pricing and carbon trading. There is also a chapter on the need for more inclusive international institutions.

"For anyone working in the energy field, whether in government, business, academia, or NGOs, who needs to understand the depth and complexity of the [energy policy] challenge, The Energy Conundrum is essential reading." -Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency

The Energy Conundrum provides the reader with a comprehensive international overview so that he or she can make well informed judgements on some highly controversial energy topics. In a final chapter the author gives his own views on how we can solve, or at least manage, our "energy conundrum". We are definitely not on course but, with the right policies, we may be approaching a tipping point. The book ends with two case studies of one rich and one poor country in which readers are invited to try their hands at making energy policy as the responsible Minister.

This book retails for US$88 / £77 at major bookstores. To know more about the book visit


About the Author

Neil Hirst is the Senior Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. He has had a wide ranging career in international energy. His experience includes having been the Director for International Energy Policy for the British Government (2005-2009), and Energy Counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington (1985-1988). He has also worked on energy finance on secondment to Goldman Sachs in New York. In 1997, he chaired the G8 Nuclear Safety Working Group. Neil has also been the Director for Technology and then Director for Global Energy Dialogue at the International Energy Agency in Paris.

About the Grantham Institute

The Grantham Institute is Imperial College London's hub for climate change and the environment. The Institute contributes to, and leads on, world-class research, training and innovation towards effective UK and international action on climate change and the environment. For more information, visit

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research, professional and educational communities. The company publishes about 600 books annually and about 130 journals in various fields. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit

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