Energy Chronicles

Keys to understanding the importance of energy

Greg De Temmerman


Also available in French

The essential story of the different facets of energy, where we come from, where we are now, and how we can look to the future.


Perfect gift

Moving beyond opinion


Dense chronicles to savour day after day


To understand all the dimensions of a highly complex subject

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Who knows how much energy 1 joule represents? How much oil does it take to make a mobile phone? How much coal is used in the world? Despite all the debate about this crucial subject, most of us are in fact “energy blind”. We often talk about energy without fully appreciating what it means today, or how central it is to all human evolution. This book provides the keys to understanding energy in a fun, short chronicle format.


The author

Greg De Temmerman is an energy physicist with a PhD in experimental physics from the University of Basel in Switzerland. He worked in different countries (United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands) before joining the ITER project in 2014 as Scientific Coordinator. Author of more than 230 articles in scientific journals, he is passionate about energy issues. From 2020 to 2023, he led the think tank Zenon Research. He is now Chief Science Officer for the Quadrature Climate Foundation in London. He is also a research associate at MINES Paris – PSL, and a regular columnist for Illuminem.

Table of contents


Chronicle One – The Basics of Energy

What is energy?

Power and Energy

Energy is complicated

Embodied Energy

Chronicle Two – Energy in All its Forms

The Greenhouse Effect

Sun and Wind

Chronicle Three – Primary, Final and Renewable (or not) Energy

Final Energy

Renewable or Non-Renewable Energy

Chronicle Four – A Brief History of Our Relationship with Energy

The human body: physical capacities and limits

Increasing Energy Use

Ever-increasing Available Power

Man as a Force of Nature

Chronicle Five – A Fossil-Fuel Civilisation

King coal

Ever-increasing Dependence

And Man Became Hyper-Mobile

Chronicle Six – The Difficulty of an Energy Transition

The Need to Change Our Energy System

A Strong Addiction to Fossil Fuels

Chronicle Seven – It all goes fast but nothing changes

The Rapid Development of Certain Technologies

Energy Transitions are Inherently Slow

Chronicle Eight – Energy and Electricity

Load Factor

The Role of Electricity in the Future

Chronicle Nine – Solutions and precautions

Hydrogen: a Poorly Addressed Topic

Nuclear Fusion or the Myth of Unlimited Energy

The Rebound Effect



Additional information

Weight 151 g
Dimensions 15,6 × 2 × 23,4 cm
ISBN French print


Number of pages French


ISBN English print


Number of pages English



English, French


Digital, Paper

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