Bridging the Gap…

Uncover the Science of

Energy & Explore the Tough Questions

Electricity is to modern civilization what blood is to the human body. Understanding how electricity works is more critical than ever as its importance grows with the increasing electrification of transport, industry, and heating. 

Dr. Lars Schernikau together with Prof. William H. Smith have created a comprehensive overview of how the global energy economy works with a focus on electricity.

This new book explains the fundamental reasons for the energy shortages that the world (particularly Europe) started to experience since 2021, which was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine in 2022.

In doing so the authors describe – for our electricity markets – what can work and what never will.

The Unpopular Truth is not only an introduction to modern electricity systems and electricity costs, but it also touches on primary energy and transportation.

Both authors focus more on the generation of electricity from a macroeconomic “energy transition” point of view and less on the details of how electricity physically works.

Environmental efficiency of our energy systems is more complex than CO2 emissions alone. Energy input, material input, lifetime, and recycling efficiency are other key elements discussed in the book.

Lars and William H. conclude with both thoughts about the future of energy and suggestions for a sustainable energy policy, taking into account the new challenges and consequences of global efforts to “decarbonize”.

Available here on,,,, and more

Kindle (very low cost), hard cover, and soft cover are available worldwide. German version is also on Amazon.

Vietnamese, and Polish Versions will be available soonE


Dr. Lars Schernikau

Dr. Lars Schernikau is an energy economist, entrepreneur, commodity trader, and author.

Educated at New York University in the US, INSEAD in France, and TU Berlin in Germany, he has worked with commodities for 2 decades in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America.

Previously, he worked for the Boston Consulting Group in the US and Germany.

Lars is also a shareholder in the Berlin based, German publicly listed commodity trading firm,
HMS Bergbau AG

Prof. William Hayden Smith

Prof. William Hayden Smith is a Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Prof. Smith received his PhD from Princeton University.

Book Content


Electricity and investments
– the current situation


Variable “renewable” energy 
and storage

Wind and solar – the disconnect between installed capacity and generated electricity

Capacity factors

Transmission, distribution, conditioning, and black start

Energy storage

Hydrogen and how it compares to hydrocarbons

Material input and embodied energy

Primary energy and heat pumps


Cost of electricity
and energy returns (eROI)

Full cost of electricity – FCOE

Energy return on energy invested ‒ eROI

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics’ impact on energy systems


The projected future of
energy and “decarbonization” 

Primary energy (PE) growth until 2050

Energy shortages and their impact on prices and economic activity

Decarbonization and “Net-Zero” – cost to low-income populations


The realistic future of
energy and sustainability


Executive Summary