Nature and Environmental Book Reviews

Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books



Renewable Energy

World energy usage nearly doubled between 1975 and 2005, while China’s energy usage doubles every decade . . . learn more about Renewable Energy»

The books on renewable energy selected here provide a comprehensive introduction to and analysis of the developing technology, policy issues, economics, and environmental impact of these sustainable energy resources worldwide.

Recommended Books on Renewable Energy

Alternative Energy ResourcesAlternative Energy Resources: The Quest for Sustainable Energy
Paul Kruger

Professor Kruger examines energy use throughout history and the exponential expansion of our energy use beginning with the Industrial Revolution to the present. He analyzes various alternative energy sources available, including renewable energy (hydroelectric, solar, wind, biomass and geothermal), nuclear, and hydrogen. He addresses each energy source's pros and cons based on needs, availability and environmental impact. 2006, Wiley

Apollo's Fire
Short List

Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy
Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendricks

The Apollo Alliance, an advocacy group and think tank uniting unions, environmental groups and business organizations, is committed to fostering a green economy. To free the U.S. of fossil fuel dependency, they propose that we must redesign the automobile, invest in solar power, increase development of wind power, explore the technology for harnessing wave energy, use all energy more efficiently, and embrace clean coal consumption and safe nuclear power. 2007, Island Press

The Citizen-Powered Energy HandbookThe Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis
Greg Pahl

Solar roof panels, backyard wind turbines and biofuel stills: in this how-to vision of a future without hydrocarbon fuels, small really is beautiful. As we face global warming and the decline of oil production, Pahl champions a spectrum of alternative energy sources, including hydropower, geothermal and biomass energies, solar, wind power and biofuels. Pahl reports on a number of community and cooperative alternative-energy successes: 24 townhouses in Asheville using solar panels; Toronto powering 250 homes with a cooperatively-owned wind turbine; micro-hydro projects powering business and homes in Nepal and Pakistan. 2007, Chelsea Green Publishing

Energy AutonomyEnergy Autonomy: The Economic, Social and Technological Case for Renewable Energy
Hermann Scheer

The answer to declining and unsecure petroleum supplies, Scheer says, is to make the transition to renewable sources of energy and to distributed, decentralized energy generation. This model has been proven technologically, commercially and politically and offers additional positive benefits besides reducing hydrocarbon dependency. Whole new industries will be created to stimulate the global economy and two billion people who don't receive electricity now will have access to it. 2007, Earthscan Publications

Energy for Sustainability
Short List

Energy for Sustainability: Technology, Planning, Policy
John Randolph and Gilbert Masters

Since the dawn of the industrial age, the explosive growth in economic productivity has been fueled by oil, coal, and natural gas. World energy use nearly doubled between 1975 and 2005. China's energy use has been doubling every decade. The implications for the environment are staggering. This comprehensive and authoritative overview looks at the full range of issues - generating technologies, green building design, land use planning, energy and economic policies, the impact of transportation patterns on energy use, and more - that must be considered in making the necessary transition to sustainable energy sources. 2008, Island Press

Energy RevolutionEnergy Revolution: Policies for a Sustainable Future
Howard Geller

Energy Revolution examines the policy options for mitigating or removing the entrenched advantages held by fossil fuels and speeding the transition to a more sustainable energy future, one based on improved efficiency and a shift to renewable sources such as solar, wind, and bioenergy. Geller examines today's energy patterns and their consequences and provides ten case studies of integrated sustainable energy strategies that have been effective in different parts of the world. 2002, Island Press

Energy Systems and SustainabilityEnergy Systems and Sustainability
Godfrey Boyle

This book surveys conventional fossil and nuclear-fueled energy systems that, along with hydropower and traditional biofuels, currently supply the majority of the world's commercial energy needs. Boyle shows how the monetary costs of energy are calculated, and deals with the sustainability problems associated with both fossil and nuclear fuel use. 2003, Oxford University Press

Kicking the Carbon HabitKicking the Carbon Habit: Global Warming And the Case for Renewable And Nuclear Energy
William Sweet

Science journalist Sweet says the villan of catastrophic climate change is coal, whose sooty carbon emissions make it the single worst energy source. Citing the generally safe record of nuclear energy, he proposes that wind generation and nuclear plants be the chosen methods for powering America's future. 2006, Columbia University Press

Renewable EnergyRenewable Energy
Godfrey Boyle

The need for clean, sustainable power in substantial quantities from renewable energy sources leads to this comprehensive overview of the principal renewable energy sources including solar thermal, photovoltaics, bioenergy, hydro, tidal, wind, wave and geothermal. With 350 detailed illustrations and more than 50 tables of data and a wide range of case studies the book examines, for each energy source, the underlying technological principles, environmental impact,and future prospects for viable energy production. 2004, Oxford University Press

Renewable Energy PolicyRenewable Energy Policy
Paul Komor

Renewable Energy Policy takes a pragmatic look at the myriad government efforts to promote renewables, and reports on what works, what doesn't, and why. In clear, jargon-free language, Mr. Komor shows how and why some policies have achieved impressive results, and others have failed. Skillfully interweaving technology, economics and politics he reveals how the best of policy ideas often end up with unintended results. 2004, iUniverse

Sustainable EnergySustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options
Jefferson W. Tester

This useful handbook provides a clear and detailed overview of the energy options available to us. It evaluates the technologies, environmental impacts and economic realities of each, with a view to determining which options - or combination of options - are likely to provide the most reliable, sustainable, cost-efficient, and environment-friendly method of powering our future. Sustainable Energy addresses the challenges of integrating diverse factors and emphasizes the importance for future generations of the energy choices we make today. 2005, The MIT Press

Understanding Renewable Energy SystemsUnderstanding Renewable Energy Systems
Volker Quaschning

Beginning with an overview of renewables (including biomass, hydroelectricity, geothermal, tidal, wind, and solar power) this book explores the fundamentals of various renewable energy systems. The main focus is on technologies with high development potential such as solar thermal systems, photovoltaics, and wind power. The text addresses policy and economic challenges facing the energy industry which impact the viability of implementing these technologies. 2005, Earthscan Publications

Return to top of page