Robert Bryce

One of America’s Most Prominent Energy Journalists and Authors
Robert Bryce
  • Called “a visionary” and “a revolutionary” by The New York Times
  • Provides insight into the global economy
  • Uses extensive knowledge to debunk energy myths
  • Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

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Robert Bryce is the acclaimed author of five books on energy. A passionate and engaging speaker, he is also a leading thinker on global energy, power systems, and innovation. His sixth book, A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations, will be published in March 2020 by his longtime publisher, PublicAffairs. Bryce is also the producer of a new feature-length documentary: Juice: How Electricity Explains the World, which was filmed in India, Lebanon, Iceland, Puerto Rico, New York, and Colorado.

Bryce’s articles have appeared in a myriad of publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times and the National Review to the Sydney Morning Herald. He has given over 300 invited and keynote lectures to groups of all kinds, including the Marine Corps War College and the Sydney Institute.

His most recent book, Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong was published in 2014. The book shows how today – despite decades, and even centuries, of doomsday predictions from people like Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich – more people are living richer, freer, healthier lives than at any time in human history. It shows how ongoing innovation in everything from solar panels to microprocessors is allowing humans to harness more energy more effectively than ever before. And those gains – all of which are coming thanks to the inexorable trend toward smaller, faster, lighter, denser, cheaper – will catalyze continuing prosperity.

Bryce’s first book, Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2002 by Publishers Weekly. In 2004, he published Cronies: Oil, The Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, “America’s Superstate.” In 2008, he published Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence.” A review of Gusher in the New York Times called Bryce “something of a visionary and perhaps even a revolutionary.”

His fourth book, Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future, was published in 2010 by PublicAffairs. A reviewer in the Wall Street Journal called Power Hungry “unsentimental, unsparing and impassioned; and, if you'll excuse the pun, it is precisely the kind of journalism we need to hold truth to power.” The Washington Times called it a “magnificently unfashionable, superlatively researched new book dares to fly in the face of all current conventional wisdom and cant.”

Bryce is renowned for his analysis of industrial trends and the future of energy. He skillfully explains the physics and math behind our energy and power systems without resorting to jargon or hyperbole. An insightful and likeable speaker, Bryce offers valuable insight on the enormous scale of global energy use and the innovation that is driving down prices and increasing energy availability to consumers all over the world.  He offers an uplifting message about how increasing energy availability, along with the inexorable push to do more with less, is fostering freedom, better education, and improved living standards all over the world.

In addition to his many publications, Bryce appears regularly on electronic media outlets ranging from Bloomberg TV and PBS to Fox News and Al Jazeera. He lives in Austin with his wife, Lorin.

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Speaker Video

Robert Bryce: Opportunities for Energy Innovation

Robert Bryce on The Future Role of Energy

A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations

In this talk, based on his forthcoming book of the same title, Robert Bryce will explain why electricity has transformed humanity like no other form of energy. Despite its transformative power, some 3 billion people are still living in places where per-capita electricity use is less than what’s used by an average American refrigerator. Closing the enormous gap between the electricity rich and the electricity poor will affect everything from womens’ rights and health care to warfare and climate change. Bryce will discuss the fastest-growing sources of new electricity demand – Big Tech and Big Cannabis – and explain the factors that are needed to supply reliable and affordable electricity. He will also spotlight the fuels that will power the electric grids of the future and explain why, in the 21st century, power equals power. (A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations will be published in March 2020 by PublicAffairs).

Renewable Dreams, Hydrocarbon Realities, and the Fuels of the Future

Whether it’s the Green New Deal or the dozens of cities that have pledged to get all of their electricity from renewables, there’s no doubt that solar and wind energy are enormously popular. In this talk, Robert Bryce will explain why renewables alone cannot meet burgeoning global energy demand. He will provide a clear-eyed look at the vast scale of our energy and power systems and explain why, despite concerns about climate change, the fuels we’ve been relying on for decades – oil, coal, and natural gas – are likely to continue dominating global energy markets for years to come. In addition, Bryce will examine the macro trends in the energy sector, including the surge in solar, the booming global trade in LNG, electric vehicles, the relentless growth in electricity demand, and explain why we should be optimistic about our energy future. 

Economic Growth, Climate Change, and the Innovation Imperative

The world’s insatiable demand for energy is complicating efforts to address climate change. In this talk, Robert Bryce will discuss the technologies and fuels – including nuclear energy – that will be needed to meet soaring global demand for electricity and motor fuel. Bryce will explain how ongoing innovation in every aspect of the energy and power sectors – from batteries and solar panels to internal combustion engines and fission reactors – will help us reduce the risks of climate change while also improving the lives and living standards of billions of people around the world.

Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong

For decades, even centuries, we have been repeatedly warned that we are headed for disaster. Indeed, since the days of Thomas Malthus, we’ve been told that we are using too much of everything and that catastrophe looms.  But the prophets of doom continually overlook an obvious fact: More people are now living longer, freer, healthier lives than at any time in human history. In this talk, Robert Bryce will show how ongoing innovation in everything from energy extraction and mobile phones to agriculture and engines is raising living standards all over the world. No one told inventors or entrepreneurs to make things smaller, faster, lighter, denser, and cheaper. Instead, they have been doing that on their own. The result of this continuing innovation: poverty and disease are on the run all over the world. If you need a dose of optimism, one that will inoculate you against the endless doom and pessimism that dominates the daily news, this talk is the one for you.

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