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Lighting the World

Transforming our Energy Future by Bringing Electricity to Everyone

Jim Rogers, Stephen P. Williams


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1.2 billion people on Earth still don't have electricity. Even where cell phones are now common, like sub-Saharan Africa and parts of India, villagers still walk miles to charge them. But new large-scale, sustainable solutions will not only usher in a new era of light, but be an important first step in lifting people from poverty and putting them on a road of sustainable economic development. Also, a unique, transforming opportunity for Western thinkers and practitioners will be created. These areas have largely skipped the analog stage of power development, and have moved straight from the middle ages to the digital age. They are not encumbered by existing infrastructure, dependence on fossil fuels, or too many outdated laws and regulations. An ideal innovation incubator, the developing world might just be the best way to make progress on our own energy issues at home.

Jim Rogers is leading a grand collaborative effort to bring sustainable, clean electrical power to everyone who lacks it. This reverse engineering, he contends, could solve the energy crises of America and Europe, while also making the world a cleaner, smarter place. But it won't be easy. In Lighting the World, Rogers details the bold thinking, international cooperation, and political will required to illuminate the future for everyone.

Praise For Lighting the World: Transforming our Energy Future by Bringing Electricity to Everyone

“A passionate, but not ideological, argument that offers a practical approach to solving real problems.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An enthusiastic account and a great starting point for readers curious about sustainable, worldwide electricity.” —Library Journal

“Jim Rogers-one of the most creative and forward-thinking shapers of the US electric system-offers an inspired vision of how electrification in the developing world will transform lives, just as it continues to improve our lives here. His compelling vision highlights the interdependence of these two diverse worlds: adoption of advanced, clean technologies in the developing world will accelerate that adoption in advanced economies, helping all of us meet the global challenge of climate change. Written for the layman--yet the technician, the inventor, and the entrepreneur will all appreciate Rogers' recognition of the profound contribution their work makes to the human condition.” —Phil Sharp, President, Resources for the Future

“In Lighting the World, Jim Rogers treats us to two books in one: a gripping journey around the dramatic world of energy for the poor combined with a fascinating account of what it takes to run and innovate a major U.S. utility.” —Dan Kammen, Professor of Energy, Energy and Resources Group & Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California

“With the evangelizing feel of a TED talk, former energy exec Rogers makes his provocative case for powering up the Third World.” —Discover Magazine

“In Lighting the World, Jim Rogers shows that in practical and economic ways, we can provide low-cost but effective existing technologies to the homes and villages of 1.2 billion people who have no access to modern electricity and communication services, and in so doing, work millions of small miracles in these impoverished places. Based on his experience in running one of the largest electricity providers in the world, he offers the realities of both the primitive and most advanced energy systems and makes a powerful case that we should hurry the day when modern electricity, the energy form of choice for almost all purposes, is provided cleanly and more simply everywhere.” —Timothy E. Wirth, Vice Chairman and President Emeritus, The United Nations Foundation

“Inspiring and hopeful.” —The Charlotte Observer

“Rogers calls for new steps by governments, financial institutions and entrepreneurs to bring light to remote areas in Africa and other regions where flickering candles and dangerous kerosene lamps are often the only options at night.” —USA Today

St. Martin's Press, 9781137279859, 256pp.

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

About the Author

JIM ROGERS is the former Chairman, President and CEO of Duke Energy, the largest electric power company in the US. In 2009, Newsweek named him one of "The 50 Most Powerful People in the World." Rogers is an expert commentator and has appeared on 60 Minutes, Bloomberg News, CNBC, MSNBC, and The Colbert Report. He has spoken at the Aspen Institute, the UN, and the World Economic Forum, and has served on the boards of eight Fortune 500 companies. He lives in Charlotte, NC.

Stephen P. Williams is a writer and entrepreneur in New York.