Français
Graphic

Policy brief: Retrofutur, a counter-history of energy innovations

By Claire Roumet on 5 November 2018






by Claire Roumet, Executive director of Energy Cities

As first cold arrives, you just want to sit by the fire and travel without really moving. For once, in this "political" editorial, I’m going to talk about a book, an invitation to temporal and spatial exploration, an amazing itinerary through the meanders of energy innovation over the centuries.

Retrofutur, a counter-history of energy innovations

This collective book is based on the investigations of paleo-researchers and volunteer contributors. And they found gold. For example, an hydrogen Saurer truck developed in 1945 which travelled the roads of a French region until 1951, an invention designed to cope with the post-war fuel shortage. Or the first industrial solar thermal power plant, operating already in 1920 in Egypt. Did you know that even non-rechargeable batteries can be recharged?
When visiting the Ghent Industrial Museum, I was already impressed by their model of a perpetual bulb...

I will stop here and let you discover the incredible treasures of this book.

The good news is that this book also exists in exhibition format (and in several languages): paleo-energy to address the technological issue not as an inaccessible field managed by experts but as tools for "getting started".

Innovation is a fascinating process and the authors seek to show that it is not linear. On the contrary, it is full of crossing paths. Being equipped to discuss technical issues is essential, not to leave the debates to the experts only. An example which speaks for itself is provided by the scientists at the University of Washington, who were stuck on a problem for ten years and then had the idea of putting it online, in the form of a video game (foldit).
The gaming community solved it in less than three weeks!

This book tastes like a madeleine, yet it is also refreshing, full of hope. The solutions to our issues might be within arm’s reach, or else our collective intelligence can create them.

Have a good trip


Under the direction of Cédric Carles, Thomas Ortiz and Eric Dussert
Buchet and Chastel Edition
http://www.buchetchastel.fr/retrofutur--collectif-9782283031919
https://paleo-energetique.org/

Members
Map of members
WELCOME TO NEWEST MEMBERS:
Sustainable City Network (GR) Greece | CEDEF-Central European Development Forum (RS) Serbia | Albertville France | Union of Communities of Armenia (AM) Armenia | Agencia de Energia & Ambiente da Arrabida - Energy agency Portugal
Opinions
Opinions
Events to come
How can a local government encourage ambitious renovations of condominiums?
Thursday 22 November

Hydrogène et Mobilité Urbaine en Europe
From 22 to 24 November

18th IOPD Conference - Citizen initiative and direct democracy
Tuesday 27 November

Forum Smart City : Objectif Zéro Carbone
From 27 to 28 November

Webinar - Make your municipal budget climate-friendly!
Tuesday 27 November 13:30-15:00

Webinaire : regard croisé franco-allemand sur les achats publics éco-responsables"
Wednesday 28 November 10:30-12:00

All coming events >>
Line
Find Energy Cities on
Line
-->
separator
You are here: Energy Cities, Local authorities in energy transition. > Newsletters > Newsletter - Energy Cities - en > 266 - November 2018

About us
In a nutshell
Governance
Members
Team
Jobs
Internships
Contact
Privacy policy
EU Policy
Join
How to join
Why we joined
Actions
Initiatives & Campaigns
Projects
Workshops
Webinars
Annual Conferences
Study Tours
Resources
Energy transition: our proposals
Best practices from members
Publications
EC INFO Magazine
Newsletter
BLOG
Media
Press releases
Articles
Communication tools

 
Addresses Energy Cities - Besançon Energy Cities - Bruxelles