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Power Up

On sale

28th March 2024

Price: £22

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529382976

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‘A fascinating tour behind the scenes of the world’s energy system – absolutely stuffed with interesting facts.’ ANDREW HUNTER MURRAY

‘Highly engaging’ MIKE BERNERS-LEE

‘Fascinating and insightful’ MARK MIODOWNIK

‘A stimulating and affable overview of how major feats of engineering can help the world beat the climate crisis’

We rarely think about the energy systems that prop up our existence. With hot water, lighting and digital entertainment all available at the flick of a switch, it’s easy to underestimate the vast global network that makes these things possible.

Growing up in Iraq, Yasmin Ali regularly experienced power cuts – ironic for a country rich in oil and sunshine. Now as an engineer working in energy, Yasmin has a deep appreciation for what these resources mean for our lives.

In Power Up she takes us on a journey across the globe to reveal the bigger picture, from solar farms shimmering in the desert to power stations hidden deep in the mountains. We discover where we get energy from, how it is moved and used around the world – and why we need to understand the whole system if we want to transition towards a clean, green future.

Power Up is a definitive picture of the intricate world that humanity has built, and a rallying cry to face the challenges of climate change using the power at our fingertips.


Roma Agrawal, author of NUTS AND BOLTS and BUILT
In the midst of the climate crisis, I highly recommend this book. It's the perfect place to learn about a very complex industry - one that affects us all - from start to finish. Ali handles a huge and often contentious subject expertly, weaving in personal stories with big questions, making it a warm and educational read.
Mark Miodownik, author of LIQUID and STUFF MATTERS
This is a powerful and often lyrical book about what it is like to work in the energy sector from someone who lives and breathes it on a daily basis. Fascinating and insightful in equal measure, ultimately it is a book about the humans who are quietly getting on with the job of making our world more sustainable.
Henning Wehn, comedian
Now even I understand how it all works.
Anna Ploszajski, materials scientist and author of HANDMADE
A beautiful book full of hope that manages to humanise everything from horsepower to kilowatt hours.
Alom Shaha, science teacher and author of WHY DON'T THINGS FALL UP?
I learned so much from this book about this most important aspect of our lives. "Energy literacy", which the book actively promotes, will be a key tool to tackle climate change.
Helen Arney, science presenter and comedian
This hugely readable energy odyssey is now part of my climate change crib sheet. It doesn't just answer the question "How does it work?" but also "What are we doing to make it better?"
David Adam, journalist and bestselling author of THE MAN WHO COULDN'T STOP
An engaging and informed account of one of the defining questions of our time: how we source and use energy.
Professor Lewis Dartnell, author of BEING HUMAN: How our Biology shaped World History
Absolutely electrifying! A fascinating guided tour behind the scenes of how the energy needed for running all our lives is generated and distributed.
Ali's enthusiasm for energy infrastructure electrifies this engaging tour of the people and structures that power our modern world.
Alex O'Brien, author of THE TRUTH DETECTIVE
A journey back into the past, a vision of the future, and an education in energy - a rewarding read.
New Statesman
Covers everything from how we can learn from those working on oil and gas rigs in the transition to offshore wind, to the evolution of solar power and how engineers are working to crack nuclear fusion and so create an abundant and cleaner energy source ... fascinatingly technical without becoming too academic. Her family's experience of fleeing Iraq offers an engaging backdrop for her tales ... Power Up provides a stimulating and affable overview of how major feats of engineering can help the world beat the climate crisis.
Mike Berners-Lee, author of THERE IS NO PLANET B
A highly engaging personal account of changes in our complex energy system to enable a low carbon world.
The Chemical Engineer
Easy to read and enjoyable ... I could likely look to this book to find a story that would help liven up a dull lecture, or even spark discussion outside the classroom. Ali delivers good food for thought throughout ... takes the reader "behind-the-scenes" ... Power Up is well worth the time. The collection of stories incites reflection about the place of energy in our lives, and the places we get it from. I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the sector
Andrew Hunter Murray, host of NO SUCH THING AS A FISH
A fascinating tour behind the scenes of the world's energy system - absolutely stuffed with interesting facts.