"Over the next few decades, we will see a profound energy transformation as society shifts from fossil fuels to renewable resources like solar, wind, biomass. But what might a one hundred percent renewable future actually look like, and what obstacles will we face in this transition? Authors explore the practical challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to renewable energy."--Page 4 of cover.
Where does the energy we use come from? It's absolutely vital to every single thing we do every day, but for most people, it is utterly invisible. Flick a switch and the lights go on. It might as well be magic. Science writer Jeremy Shere shows us in Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy that energy is anything but magical. Producing it in fossil fuel form is a dirty, expensive—but also hugely profitable— enterprise, with enormous but largely hidden costs to the entire planet. The cold, hard fact is that at some point we will have wrung the planet dry of easily accessible sources of fossil fuel. And when that time comes, humankind will have no choice but to turn—or, more accurately, return—to other, cleaner, renewable energy sources. What will those sources be? How far have we come to realizing the technologies that will make these sources available? To find the answers, Shere began his journey with a tour of a traditional coal-fueled power plant in his home state of Indiana. He then continued on, traveling from coast to coast as he spoke to scientists, scholars and innovators. He immersed himself in the green energy world: visiting a solar farm at Denver's airport, attending the Wind Power Expo and a wind farm tour in Texas, investigating turbines deep in New York City's East River, and much more. Arranged in five parts—Green Gas, Sun, Wind, Earth, and Water—Renewable tells the stories of the most interesting and promising types of renewable energy: namely, biofuel, solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. But unlike many books about alternative energy, Renewable is not obsessed with megawatts and tips for building home solar panels. Instead, Shere digs into the rich, surprisingly long histories of these technologies, bringing to life the pioneering scientists, inventors, and visionaries who blazed the way for solar, wind, hydro, and other forms of renewable power, and unearthing the curious involvement of great thinkers like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Nicola Tesla. We are at an important crossroads in the history of renewable technologies. The possibilities are endless and enticing, and it has become increasingly clear that renewable energy is the way of the future. In Renewable, Jeremy Shere's natural curiosity and serious research come together in an entertaining and informative guide to where renewable energy has been, where it is today, and where it's heading.
Most books on clean energy are so data-driven and scientific that they're all but impossible to understand. Fortunately, this isn't one of them. Visionary author Gary Schwendiman answers the energy sector's biggest questions in a way that anyone can understand and appreciate. This is as much a book for investors and political leaders as it is for the casual reader with an interest in how we're going to solve some of the world's most difficult environmental and economic problems. How can we combat global warming? How can we grow the global economy? How can we turn the lights on for the 1.5 billion people in the world who currently lack access to electricity? How can we provide all the additional fuel we'll need when the number of vehicles worldwide doubles from 1 billion to 2 billion by 2030? This book answers all these questions in a fun, lighthearted, engaging way. It compares the future of clean energy to a football season that concludes with what Schwendiman calls "The Clean Energy Bowl." Join him as he examines each energy source as if it were a football team, comparing and contrasting the strongest players until he arrives at the ultimate conclusion: the team best positioned to completely change the world. During the next few decades, the game will be rough, but the rewards significant. When the dust settles, the environment will be cleaner, the economy stronger, and the world more peaceful. So pack up the tailgate party. Grab your tickets. Get ready for kickoff!
Climate change, along with the depletion of oil, coal, and gas, dictate that we will inevitably move away from our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels; but just how big a transformation will this be? While many policy-makers assume that renewable energy sources will provide an easy "plug-and-play" solution, author Richard Heinberg suggests instead that we are in for a wild ride; a "civilization reboot" on a scale similar to the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Afterburn consists of fifteen essays exploring various aspects of the twenty-first century migration away from fossil fuels including: Short-term political and economic factors that impede broad-scale, organized efforts to adapt The origin of longer-term trends (such as consumerism), that have created a way of life that seems "normal" to most Americans, but is actually unprecedented, highly fragile, and unsustainable Potential opportunities and sources of conflict that are likely to emerge From the inevitability and desirability of more locally organized economies to the urgent need to preserve our recent cultural achievements and the futility of pursuing economic growth above all, Afterburn offers cutting-edge perspectives and insights that challenge conventional thinking about our present, our future, and the choices in our hands. Richard Heinberg is a senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, the author of eleven previous books including The Party's Over and The End of Growth. He is widely regarded as one of the world's most effective communicators of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels.
The promise of "green jobs" and a "clean energy future" has roused the masses. But as Robert Bryce makes clear in this provocative book, that vision needs a major re-vision. We cannot--and will not--quit using carbon-based fuels at any time in the near future for a simple reason: they provide the horsepower that we crave. The hard reality is that oil, coal, and natural gas are here to stay. Fueling our society requires that we make good decisions and smart investments based on facts. In Power Hungry, Bryce crushes a phalanx of energy myths, showing why renewables are not green, carbon capture and sequestration won't work, and even--surprise!--that the U.S. is leading the world in energy efficiency. Power Hungry delivers a clear-eyed view of what's needed to transform the gargantuan global energy sector.
The future of clean energy is no longer about science and technology; it's all about access to finance. The fossil fuel industry has been subsidized for decades with tax breaks and government backing, while renewables have struggled to compete. But now clean energy is the safe bet for investors, as is argued in Renewable Energy Finance: Powering the Future, edited by Dr Charles Donovan, Principal Teaching Fellow at Imperial College Business School. With a Foreword writer Lord Brown and contributions from some of the world's leading experts in energy finance, this timely book documents how investors are spending over US$250 billion each year on new renewable energy projects and positioning themselves in a global investment market that will continue to expand at double-digit growth rates until 2020. It documents first-hand experiences of the challenges of balancing risk and return amid volatile market conditions and rapid shifts in government policy. Renewable Energy Finance provides an insider's perspective on renewable energy transactions, and insight into how countries like the US, India and China are responding to the global energy challenge. Drawing together contributions from senior executives and leading academics, Renewable Energy Finance serves an audience of readers craving intelligent, practical perspectives on the future of clean energy investment. Contents:Section I:Introduction to Renewable Energy Finance (Charles Donovan)The Clean Energy Imperative (Jim Skea)How Much Renewable Energy Will the Global Economy Need? (Guy Turner)Investor-Specific Cost of Capital and Renewable Energy Investment Decisions (Thorsten Helms, Sarah Salm & Rolf Wüstenhagen)Section II:Markets, Governments and Renewable Electricity (Richard Green)The Impact of Government Policies on Renewable Energy Investment (Gireesh Shrimali)Mobilizing Private Sector Capital in Developing Countries (Alexandre Chavarot & Matthew Konieczny)Renewable Energy Finance in China (Philip Andrews-Speed & Sufang Zhang)Measuring the Carbon Delta of Investment Performance (Celine McInerney & Derek Bunn)Section III:The Growing Role for Private Equity (Brian Potskowski & Chris Hunt)Project Finance and the Supply of Credit from Commercial Banks (Alejandro Ciruelos Alonso)The Untapped Potential of Institutional Investors (David Nelson)The Spectacular Growth of Solar PV Leasing (Bruce Usher & Albert Gore)Crowdfunding: Ready for the Big Leagues? (Karl Harder & Sam Friggens) Readership: Advance economics undergraduates and postgraduates undertaking modules in Environmental and Energy economics. Finance students undertaking Energy Finance modules. Researchers and interested financial professionals looking for a reference volume on clean energy investing. Keywords:Renewable Energy;Clean Energy Finance;Solar Energy Financing
"Why Are We Producing Biofuels?" is written for those who are curious about efforts to introduce biofuels into our energy supply but are not satisfied with the publically accessible information on the subject. Written by experts in the field, this book provides educators, policy makers, and business leaders, and the general public with an insider's understanding of the current research in the field as well as an appreciation of the debates surrounding biofuels. This book explores the opportunity to advance a sustainable energy future through the development of advanced biofuels. By examining the emergence of first generation biofuels and the kinds of technologies being developed for advanced biofuels, the book also articulates the challenges that must be overcome: Will the industry be driven by technological innovation or government policy? If not gasoline and diesel, what fuel will propel our vehicles? How is it that we are using food crops to produce motor fuels? What do the recent criticisms about biofuels portend for its future? How is it possible that a renewable fuel can contribute to global climate change? What kinds of biomass occur in sufficient quantity to help displace imported petroleum? How can these feedstocks be transformed into transportation fuels? What is the most likely future of fuels? Table of Contents Chapter 1 Answer in brief Chapter 2 What are the origins of the biofuels era? Chapter 3 Why do we need to end our addiction to oil? Chapter 4 What are our alternatives to imported petroleum? Chapter 5 What are our alternatives to gasoline? Chapter 6 Why are we producing grain ethanol and biodiesel? Chapter 7 Why are we developing advanced biofuels? Chapter 8 How can we turn lipids into advanced biofuels? Chapter 9 How can we turn cellulose into advanced biofuels? Chapter 10 How can we use heat to produce biofuels? Chapter 11 What is the future of fuels?
The New Grand Strategy tells the story of a plan, born within the Pentagon, to recapture America’s greatness at home and abroad by elevating sustainability as our new strategic imperative. It aligns our enduring national interests of prosperity and security with a new framework that addresses pressing economic, social, and environmental issues at home, tapping into a trillion-dollar market demand for walkable communities, regenerative agriculture and resource productivity. It is an inspiring vision of what’s possible when Americans hold a collective view of the future and come together to bring it to reality. This is no idealistic pipe dream or wonky policy prescription. The story that unfolds in this book weaves together hard-nosed economic analysis, a clear-eyed study of demographic and societal shifts, the realities of climate change and resource scarcity, a risk-based assessment of America’s challenges and opportunities, and on-the-ground reporting of how much this is already unfolding throughout the country. By rediscovering the power and discipline of grand strategy—and taking responsibility for our future—America can reimagine the American dream and once again take on “the cause of all mankind.” Released during one of America’s most divisive presidential election campaigns, The New Grand Strategy avoids the partisan rhetoric dividing our nation today. Instead of placing blame, it offers a clear, pragmatic plan that can unite Americans and launch a new era of prosperity and security.
Economics has failed us . . . but there is life after growth!
This diverse collection by best-selling authors, renowned scientists, and experienced activists is an engaging and practical book that will be of interest to the lay reader as well as university students in both graduate and undergraduate courses. The expert contributors to The Post Carbon Reader were asked to unflinchingly describe the deep and interconnected sustainability crises confronting humanity in the 21st century—and then give readers concrete steps for addressing those crises. This unprecedented collection of writings (34 essays, 4 previously published) is an honest, informed and engaging exploration of the most challenging issues of our time. It includes chapters by best-selling authors like climate activist Bill McKibben, renowned scholars like "ecological footprint" co-founder William Rees, and up-and-coming experts like urban food systems pioneer Erika Allen. Lead editor Richard Heinberg is the world's leading author of mass-market books on fossil fuel dependence and depletion. Heinberg says, "We've run out of time, natural resources and capital, so this is our only chance to get things right."
A stark look at prospects for a truly sustainable culture as the industrial era winds down
This passionate, inspiring call to action reveals how the United States can lead the world into the "Clean Energy Age."
There are rapid, and sometimes radical, changes now transforming energy production and consumption in the United States. Utilizing contemporary examples throughout his narrative, Walter A. Rosenbaum captures this transformation in American Energy: The Politics of 21st Century Policy while analyzing how important actors, institutions, and issues impact American energy policymaking. With clear explanations of relevant energy technologies—from controversial fracking to mountain top mining to nuclear waste storage—the book first looks at the policy options available in governing the energy economy and then discusses specific resources (petroleum and natural gas, coal, nuclear power, electricity, renewable energy, conservation) and the global energy challenges associated with climate change. This is a perfect supplement for any environmental politics course.
Lays out a picture of impending planetary crisis - a global food shortage that threatens to hit by mid-century - that would dwarf any in our previous experience. This book describes a dangerous confluence of shortages - of water, land, energy, technology, and knowledge - combined with the increased demand created by population and economic growth
A new and updated edition of this definitive history of Russia. A team of distinguished histrorians cuts through the myths and mystery that have surrounded Russia from its earliest days, from tenth-century Kiev and Muscovy, through empire and revolution, to the fall of Communism and the Putin era.
This book documents the advantages and limitations of various electricity generation methods. It illustrates how both electricity and motor fuel can be cost-effectively derived from coal, natural gas or other indigenous fuels, thereby eliminating our dependence on imported oil and the power of OPEC. It favours electricity generation systems powered exclusively by natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewables and motor vehicles powered by hydrogen (electricity from coal gasification with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and hydrogen as the fuel powering fuel-cell electric vehicles produced from natural gas or by gasifying coal With CCS.) The book also demonstrates that the US can meet the Climate Change goal of reducing all greenhouse gases by 80% below 1990 levels in both the transportation and electric utility sectors using hydrogen and coal.
An updated edition of this bestselling book on the end of oil -- and its consequences.
Current worldwide trends are not sustainable. The Club of Rome’s warnings published in the book Limits to Growth are still valid. Remedies that are acceptable for the great majority tend to make things worse. We seem to be in a philosophical crisis. Pope Francis says it clearly: our common home is in deadly danger. Analyzing the philosophical crisis, the book comes to the conclusion that the world may need a “new enlightenment”; one that is not based solely on doctrine, but instead addresses a balance between humans and nature, as well as a balance between markets and the state, and the short versus long term. To do this we need to leave behind working in ”silos” in favor of a more systemic approach that will require us to rethink the organization of science and education. However, we have to act now; the world cannot wait until 7.6 billion people have struggled to reach a new enlightenment. This book is full of optimistic case studies and policy proposals that will lead us back to a trajectory of sustainability. But it is also necessary to address the taboo topic of population increase. Countries with a stable population fare immensely better than those with continued increase. Finally, we are presenting an optimistic book from the Club of Rome.
The great energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way. As oil insecurity deepens, the extraction risks of fossil fuels rise, and concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old economy, fueled by oil, natural gas, and coal is being replaced with one powered by wind, solar, and geothermal energy. The Great Transition details the accelerating pace of this global energy revolution. As many countries become less enamored with coal and nuclear power, they are embracing an array of clean, renewable energies. Whereas solar energy projects were once small-scale, largely designed for residential use, energy investors are now building utility-scale solar projects. Strides are being made: some of the huge wind farm complexes under construction in China will each produce as much electricity as several nuclear power plants, and an electrified transport system supplemented by the use of bicycles could reshape the way we think about mobility.
Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members. International water expert Brian Richter argues that sustainable water sharing in the twenty-first century can only happen through open, democratic dialogue and local collective action. In Chasing Water, Richter tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed. Through his engaging and nontechnical style, he strips away the complexities of water management to its bare essentials, providing information and practical examples that will empower community leaders, activists, and students to develop successful and long-lasting water programs. Chasing Water will provide local stakeholders with the tools and knowledge they need to take an active role in the watershed-based planning and implementation that are essential for water supplies to remain sustainable in perpetuity.