Energy: Engine of Evolution is a compelling book that provides a compact history of energy over the last four billion years, with the aim of creating a sound basis to understanding the possible futures of the energy industry. It describes the role that energy has played in the evolution of nature and culture, the impact it has had on the world over time and the implications that we are faced with concerning the role of energy in the future. This book describes the relationship between life and energy through time, outlining how the major revolutions in the evolution of life on earth were driven by developments at the energy frontiers. Energy: Engine of Evolution states that we are on the verge of the next energy revolution, where we will learn how to master new energy forms in a new way. As a result of years of research and discussions by leading experts in the oil and gas industry, this publication offers inspiring insights and examples of new approaches to technological and evolutionary developments, paving the way towards a more sustainable future.

Key Features

* Provides evolutionary insight * Introduces an Energy Time Scale that shows key relationships between energy and the history of planet Earth * Contains exciting examples of new approaches to sustainable development


This publication is recommended to a broad audience with an interest in sustainable development, energy, evolution and the environment including researchers, government agencies, business professionals, as well as socially engaged intellectuals.

Table of Contents

PART I. THE FIRST FIVE ENERGY REVOLUTIONS -a time journey through the history of life-
Chapter 1. The Photo-Energy Revolution The origin of life The origin of sunlight The origin of planet Earth The origin of the living cell The Thermophilic Regime
Photosynthesis and free oxygen The origin of photosynthesis
Sunlight-driven energy technology
The Phototropic Regime
And the face of the earth changed Two grand carbon cycles
The self-inflicted crisis
Chapter 2. The Oxo-Energy Revolution The origin of aerobic respiration The origin of breathable air
Global oxygen crisis
Aerobic respiration
Oxygen-driven energy technology
Microbial symbiosis The origin of the eukaryotic cell design
The microbial energy majors
The Aerobic Regime
Biological diversification
Ecological growth
And the face of the earth changed The changing landscape
Competition and adaptation
Chapter 3. The Pyro-Energy Revolution The origin of hominids It needed a crisis
The origin of human culture
The quest for the human advantage
Man the fire master The human advantage
The origin of fire
Active use of fire
The Pyrocultural Regime


No. of pages:
© 2005
Elsevier Science
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the author

Frank Niele

Affiliations and Expertise

Shell Global Solutions International, Amsterdam, The Netherlands