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The Switch

By Chris Goodall

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How will the world be powered in ten years' time? Not by fossil fuels. Energy experts are all saying the same thing: solar photovoltaics (PV) is our future. Reports from universities, investment banks, international institutions and large investors agree. It's not about whether the switch from fossil fuels to solar power will happen, but when.
Solar panels are being made that will last longer than ever hoped; investors are seeing the benefits of the long-term rewards provided by investing in solar; in the Middle East, a contractor can now offer solar-powered electricity far cheaper than that of a coal-fired power station. The Switch tracks the transition away from coal, oil and gas to a world in which the limitless energy of the sun provides much of the energy the 10 billion people of this planet will need. It examines both the solar future and how we will get there, and the ways in which we will provide stored power when the sun isn't shining.
We learn about artificial photosynthesis from a start-up in the US that is making petrol from just CO2 and sunlight; ideas on energy storage are drawn from a company in Germany that makes batteries for homes; in the UK, a small company in Swindon has the story of wind turbines; and in Switzerland, a developer shows how we can use hydrogen to make 'renewable' natural gas for heating.
Told through the stories of entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists from around the world, and using the latest research and studies, The Switch provides a positive solution to the climate change crisis, and looks to a brighter future ahead.

Summary by AI

The Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chris Goodall

Author's Background:

  • Chris Goodall is a British journalist and author specializing in environmental issues.

Main Theme:

  • The challenges and strategies for implementing successful change in organizations and society.

Key Points:

  • The "Switch" Model: Goodall proposes a four-stage model for change:
    • Ignition: Creating a sense of urgency and motivation.
    • Momentum: Building support and overcoming resistance.
    • Acceleration: Implementing the change and gaining traction.
    • Institutionalization: Making the change permanent and sustainable.
  • The Importance of "Tipping Points": Goodall argues that change often occurs suddenly when a critical mass of people or organizations adopt a new idea or behavior.
  • The Role of Leadership: Leaders play a crucial role in creating the conditions for successful change by providing vision, inspiration, and support.
  • Overcoming Resistance: Goodall identifies common barriers to change and offers strategies for addressing them, such as addressing fears, building trust, and providing incentives.
  • The Power of Storytelling: Stories and narratives can be powerful tools for communicating the need for change and inspiring people to embrace it.


  • Positive:
    • Praised for its practical insights and actionable advice.
    • Recognized for its clear and engaging writing style.
  • Negative:
    • Some critics argue that the model is too simplistic and does not account for all factors involved in change.
    • Others suggest that the focus on tipping points can lead to unrealistic expectations.

Who Should Read It:

  • Leaders and managers seeking to implement change in their organizations.
  • Individuals interested in understanding the dynamics of change and how to overcome resistance.
  • Anyone looking for practical strategies for personal or societal transformation.


Peter Trizuliak
Saanvi Lakhanpal



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