Energy Alternatives
Surveying the Territory

by Larry Lohmann with Nicholas Hildyard and Sarah Sexton

first published 20 May 2013

What with a growing climate crisis and increasing uncertainty over the future of fossil fuels, it can be no surprise that the question “what's the alternative to current energy systems?” is in the air. And there has been no shortage of answers competing for space and attention. In energy policy today, the main conflict is not between business as usual and “The Alternative”, but among the different proposed alternatives themselves. How are these alternatives to be evaluated against each other?

The suggested solutions are diverse. The questions being asked are also different, as are the criteria for answering them, the vocabularies in which they are expressed, and the politics with which they are associated. The point of Energy Alternatives: Surveying the Territory, which serves as an introduction to the energy transitions issue, is not to simplify this debate but to clarify how complex it is. What is on the table in the discussion? Is there a place for everyone there? If so, how will the discussion proceed?

The report is also available in a Spanish translation by Fernanda Olmedo and Martin Carbonell: Energías Alternativas.

Re:Common has publised an Italian version, Energia e alternative.

[This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of The Corner House and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.]


See also ‘How We Live’, a 15-minute documentary from the front lines of energy projects across Europe. From a Serbian mine to the boardrooms of Brussels; from Welsh protesters to a Georgian TV studio, the film explores how emotional and physical geographies are changing from the ways in which power is generated.