Energy at the End of the World: An Orkney Islands Saga

by Laura Watts

Published by The MIT Press

Judges Comments:

'This book is an ethnographic study of an emerging industry, charting the rise of renewable energy and particularly marine energy in the Orkney Islands.  Focussing on the people as much as the technology, this study explores the nature of collaboration and community as much as investment and invention. How does a group of islands on the edge function as a more than just a network of companies who have come to test and experiment with generating electricity from the sea? How do the people respond to transformative technological change and how do they navigate the social, economic and political implications?  The answers are sought through observations and exchanges with the people involved and presented in an intertwined narrative which looks at these issues from multiple perspectives.'



'This is the story of Orkney, a remote archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland that somehowbecame the epicenter of marine energy innovation. In a beautifully written account of how place matters in the creation of new technological futures, Watts—a poet, scholar, and artist—grounds her account in science and technology studies while also incorporating elements of mythology, speculative fiction, and the graphic novel.'

Laura Watts:

'I am honoured, delighted, and feel enormous gratitude to everyone in Orkney who helped make the book possible through their energetic support over the years.'