Power Hungry | Robert Bryce

Summary of: Power Hungry: The Myths of “”Green”” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future
By: Robert Bryce


In the book ‘Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future’, Robert Bryce exposes the impracticality of renewable energy sources and explains why transitioning away from hydrocarbons will take most of this century. In today’s world, hydrocarbon-fueled electricity remains fundamental as it is cheap, plentiful, and efficient. However, moving towards ‘N2N’ energy sources—natural gas in the short run and nuclear power in the long run—has the potential to provide consistent power without environmental damage. The summary sheds light on common energy myths, lays out the importance of understanding energy and power, and suggests recommendations for a more efficient energy system.

America’s Energy Choices

Fossil fuels are the backbone of America’s economy due to their cost, scale, power density, and energy density. While proponents of green energy may not comprehend the impracticality of wind, solar, and biomass energies from a business perspective, moving away from hydrocarbons is a requirement for the 21st century. It demands a staggering and extended investment in “N2N” energy sources such as natural gas for the short term and nuclear power for the long haul. Both sources have the potential to provide all the power needed without the carbon dioxide emissions of oil and coal.

The Truth About Renewable Energy

The world needs to shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources due to climate change concerns. However, a growing consensus challenges this notion, claiming we won’t be able to replace hydrocarbons anytime soon. The renewable energy push is based on a false belief that renewable sources are greener than hydrocarbons. The average person’s lack of scientific and mathematical literacy allows pundits to push their alternative-energy agenda. Energy density, power density, cost, and scale are the four imperatives that must be evaluated to determine the efficiency of a fuel source. Natural gas and nuclear power plants are more efficient than wind and solar installations, requiring less space and producing lower carbon emissions. It is unlikely that urbanites will abandon the energy supply that makes their improved lifestyles possible anytime soon. Wood, coal, and oil have all been predominant power sources throughout history, with oil being one of the most versatile and efficient fuels.

Energy Myths

The US public has been fed up with misinformation about energy sources. The summary highlights several myths about wind and solar energy, Denmark’s energy model, carbon dioxide taxation, electric cars, and oil. In reality, such sources require much more land and transmission lines than nuclear power. Wind power does not reduce CO2 emissions, and Denmark is still dependent on coal. Taxing carbon dioxide is not economically feasible, and electric cars cannot compete with gas-powered ones. Furthermore, replacing coal with wood is not a viable option.

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