Nature and Environmental Book Reviews

Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books



Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books - Renewable Energy



Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Ethanol and Other Biofuels

Biofuels for TransportBiofuels for Transport: Global Potential and Implications for Energy and Agriculture
The Worldwatch Institute

This comprehensive assessment from Worldwatch Institute focuses on the opportunities and risks of the large-scale production of biofuels. It demystifies complex questions and concerns, such as the food vs. fuel debate. Global in scope, it is further informed by five country studies, from Brazil, China, Germany, India and Tanzania. The authors conclude that biofuels will play a significant role in our energy future, but warn that the large-scale use of biofuels carries risks that require focused and immediate policy initiatives. 2007, Earthscan Publications

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Fossil Fuels

The End of OilThe End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World
Paul Roberts

The End of Oil is a "geologic cautionary tale for a complacent world accustomed to reliable infusions of cheap energy." The global supply of oil is being depleted at an alarming rate. While half the world's population lives without the benefits of fossil fuels, the other half guzzles oil as if there is an unlimited supply. The transition from this system of energy production to the next - whatever that is - likely will cause untold disruption worldwide: Roberts calls this "arguably the most serious crisis ever to face industrial society." He is hopeful that the race to develop reliable alternative energy sources will avert a full-blown energy crisis. 2005, Mariner Books

Hubbert's PeakHubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage
Kenneth S. Deffeyes

Deffeyes delivers a sobering message: the 100-year petroleum era is nearly over. Global oil production will peak sometime between 2004 and 2008, and the world's production of crude oil "will fall, never to rise again." And there is no quick fix, no new discovery of another oil field or new extraction technology that can prevent this ultimate reality. The only answer, Deffeyes says, is to move as quickly as possible to alternative fuels, including natural gas and nuclear power, as well as solar, wind and geothermal energy. 2008, Princeton University Press

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Hydro-electric Power and Tidal Power

Ocean EnergyOcean Energy: Tide and Tidal Power
R. H. Charlier and Charles W. Finkl

Tidal energy combined with that of waves and marine winds are among the most successful fossil energy replacement schemes put to work. Large scale plants are capital intensive but smaller ones have proven profitable. Since the initiation of the St. Malo project in France, similar projects have gone into active service where methods have been devised to cut down on costs, as well as new types of turbines developed. Tidal power has enormous potential. The book surveys the history of harnessing the power of the tides, and reviews recent progress in extracting power from the ocean. 2009, Springer

Serious MicrohydroSerious Microhydro: Water Power Solutions from the Experts
Scott Davis

Waterpower is the largest source of renewable energy in the world today, and microhydro is a mature, proven technology that can provide clean, inexpensive, renewable energy with little or no impact on the environment. Serious Microhydro brings you dozens of firsthand stories of energy independence covering a complete range of systems, from household pressure sites to higher pressure installations capable of powering a farm, business, or small neighborhood. 2010, New Society Publishers

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

The Hype about HydrogenThe Hype about Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate
Joseph J. Romm

Hydrogen has been viewed as the holy grail of clean energy; in this fascinating book, Romm, a Dept. of Energy advisor, makes a compelling case for believing that widespread use of hydrogen is still four to five decades away. The challenge facing entrepreneurs is whether to make fuel-cell vehicles marketable before the hydrogen infrastructure is in place; Romm warns that overenthusiasm for a still embryonic technology could delay its full flowering even further. Vital, readable guidance for investors, environmentalists and those looking towards a clean energy future. 2005, Island Press

Tomorrow's EnergyTomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet
Peter Hoffmann

Hydrogen specialist Hoffmann chronicles the worldwide progression of hydrogen energy from a niche market to a viable commercial product. He argues that fossil fuels will not be cheap to find in the future, and that hydrogen is ideal as a nonpolluting form of energy for fuel cells. He clearly covers safety issues, economics, and the dificulty in moving our national energy policy away from fossil fuels. 2002, The MIT Press

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Nuclear Energy

Power to Save the WorldPower to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy
Gwyneth Cravens and Richard Rhodes

Gwyneth Cravens used to oppose nuclear power. As she has witnessed the catastrophic consequences of accelerated global temperature increase, she decided to take a fresh look at nuclear energy. This book is her report. She found that nuclear power is the only large-scale, environmentally-benign, time-tested technology currently available to provide clean electricity. In addition she learned that nuclear power is cleaner, safer, and more environmentally friendly than any other form of large-scale electricity production. She encourages a broad approach to reducing emissions, but sees that fundamentally nuclear power is the only large-scale, non-greenhouse-gas emitting electricity source that can be considerably expanded while maintaining only a small environmental footprint. 2008, Vintage

Whole Earth DisciplineWhole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary
Stewart Brand

Stewart Brand, co-author of the seminal 1969 Whole Earth Catalog, reflects on lessons learned from more than 40 years as an environmentalist in Whole Earth Discipline, a compelling attempt to inspire practicable solutions to climate change. He exhorts environmentalists to become fearless about following science; his iconoclastic proposals include transitioning to nuclear energy and ecosystem engineering. Brand's fresh perspective, approachable writing style and manifest wisdom ultimately convince the reader that the future is not an abyss to be feared but an opportunity for innovative problem solvers to embrace enthusiastically. 2010, Penguin

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Solar Energy

A Solar ManifestoA Solar Manifesto
Hermann Scheer

In this aptly titled book, Scheer attacks the lack of political will to find answers outside of the conventional frame of reference. Climate change, pollution, deforestation, destruction of the ozone layer, poverty, and the population explosion are all problems created or exacerbated by the use of conventional energy. Scheer shows that this crisis may yet be reversed but that this can only happen through a fundamental change in political and economic strategies, paving the way gowards a global solar energy economy sustained by new social principles. 2005, Earthscan Publications

Solar Power Your Home for DummiesSolar Power Your Home For Dummies
Rik DeGunther

Want to take advantage of solar power in your home? Whether you’re looking to save on your energy costs by adding a few solar components or you want to build a solar-powered house from the ground up, Solar Power For Dummies, 2nd Edition takes the mystery out of this energy source and shows you how to put it to work for you! This new edition gives you hands-on tips and techniques for making your home more energy-efficient though solar power—and helping the planet at the same time. Includes expanded coverage of the technology that underpins full-scale solar-power systems for the home. 2010, For Dummies

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Geothermal Energy

Geoghermal EnergyGeothermal Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment
William E. Glassley

Cost-effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, the use of geothermal energy has formerly been limited to areas where obvious surface features pointed to the presence of a shallow local heat source, such as hot springs and volcanoes. However, recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for applications such as modular power generation and home heating. Geothermal Energy explores where geothermal energy comes from, how it can be accessed, successful applications, and improvements for future uses. 2010, CRC Press

The Smart Guide to GeothermalThe Smart Guide to Geothermal: How to Harvest Earth's Free Energy for Heating and Cooling
Donal Blaise Lloyd

The Smart Guide to Geothermal explains why geothermal heating and cooling is the most energy efficient technology available to homeowners, and clearly shows how all homes--new or retrofit, in hot or cold climates--can use this reliable, silent, non-polluting way of extracting free energy from the earth. 2011, PixyJack Press

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Short List of Best Recommended Books on Renewable Energy: Wind Energy

Wind Power BasicsWind Power Basics: A Green Energy Guide
Dan Chiras

Wind energy is the fastest growing source of energy in the world, and by the year 2020 it is projected to supply at least 12 percent of global electrical demand. Wind Power Basics provides a clear understanding of wind and wind energy systems, including turbines, towers, inverters and batteries, site assessment, installation, and maintenance requirements. Author Chiras offers homeowners a clean view of wind technology, covering wind energy systems ranging from turbines to batteries, and including site assessment and maintenance of wind power options. 2010, New Society Publishers

Wind Power for DummiesWind Power For Dummies
Ian Woofenden

This authoritative, plain-English guide walks you through every step of the process, from assessing your site and available wind sources to deciding whether wind power is the solution for you, from understanding the mechanics of wind power and locating a contractor to install your system to producing your own affordable and sustainable electricity. The consumer guide to small-scale wind electricity production! 2009, For Dummies

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