Antti Silvast’s new book: “Making Electricity Resilient” (Routledge, 2017)

© 2017 – Routledge

174 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

Energy risk and security have become topical matters in Western and international policy discussions; ranging from international climate change mitigation to investment in energy infrastructures to support economic growth and more sustainable energy provisions. As such, ensuring the resilience of more sustainable energy infrastructures against disruptions has become a growing concern for high-level policy makers.

Drawing on interviews, participant observation, policy analysis, and survey research, this book unpacks the work of the authorities, electricity companies, and lay persons that keeps energy systems from failing and helps them to recover from disruptions if they occur. The book explores a number of important issues: the historical security policy of energy infrastructures; control rooms where electricity is traded and maintained in real time; and electricity consumers in their homes. Presenting case studies from Finland and Scandinavia, with comparisons to the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union at large, Making Electricity Resilient offers a detailed and innovative analysis of long-term priorities and short-term dynamics in energy risk and resilience.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of energy policy and security, and science and technology studies.

The book is published by Routledge. Please go to the publisher page for more information and purchasing options. The book is available as an ebook and a hardback. You can contact the author for more information about the book at antti.silvast@ed.ac.uk or antti.silvast@gmail.com.

Reviews

“The riskiest systems are those we take for granted. In contemporary life, we assume a continuous flow of power enabling us to access the others aspects of modernity, be it the internet, ATMs, or our daily appliances. Silvast’s book is a great addition to our understanding of how we depend on infrastructure and how it, in turn, depends on our governance. An important book for our “risk society”.” – Miguel A. Centeno, Princeton University, USA

“This timely book explores how we might understand and value infrastructure, risk and resilience and how that understanding enables the functioning of society. Using Finland as an exemplar, this thought provoking text considers interruptions to energy supply, and how they can be anticipated, risks managed or mitigated and how both people and organisations can ‘bounce back’ to normal functioning.” – John Beckford, University College London, UK

“This is a book that will be a standard reference for years to come for scholars of infrastructure, energy, and risk. It will also appeal to infrastructure professionals. Empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated, Silvast’s book zooms in on various levels, ranging from the macro level of planners and policy-makers to microcosmos of the household.” – Vincent Lagendijk, Maastricht University, Netherlands

“Antti Silvast offers an invaluable contribution to our understanding of infrastructure and resilience at a moment when these issues could not be more urgent. As so many practitioners and scholars are coming to realize, infrastructure resilience is a vexingly complex problem, crossing geographical scales and regimes of value, and encompassing a range of often-competing aims: market stability, technical balance, welfare, and continuity of supply. Through an innovative multi-sited approach that grounds these problems in specific sites — ranging from electricity control rooms to high level technocratic planning bodies and households — Making Electricity Resilient provides a rich account of this polyvalent and still emerging terrain.” – Stephen J Collier, Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School, USA

“At a time when some political and business leaders are keen to portray infrastructure as a relatively straightforward solution to societal problems, we need analysis prepared to go beyond simplistic prescription. Silvast offers an antidote to reductive analysis. Rather like the objects and agents he studies, Silvast’s analytical pursuit cuts-across place, time and scale, combining a rich body of original research with a deep and wide knowledge of relevant interdisciplinary social science, carefully assembled around particular themes, sites and perspectives. What emerges overall is an understanding of energy infrastructure as a deeply socio-technical construct. The book should appeal to a wide range of social scientists, other researchers and decision-makers who, while keen to engage with societal challenges, recognise the dangers of simple solutions to complex problems. This is a hugely impressive achievement.” – Mark Winskel, Chancellor’s Research Fellow on Energy Innovation, University of Edinburgh, UK

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