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A former reference librarian and the author of The Statistical Handbook on Technology, Berinstein here applies her statistical expertise to an analysis of alternative energy. The opening history of energy use includes coverage of conventional energy (coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric) and a time line dating from 1767 through 2000. The next section includes a balanced discussion of the economics of renewable energy, with separate chapters covering the major alternatives: solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, biomass, wind, ocean and tidal, fusion, geothermal, and hydrogen. Each chapter includes an overview as well as treatment of equipment needs, economics, incentives, environmental considerations, and developments in the area. Throughout, Berinstein reiterates that not all alternative energy is harmless to the environment. The work contains 85 tables (mainly from the U.S. Department of Energy) that cover measures such as emissions, consumption, fuel costs, operating costs, and production, to name just a few. The layout is attractive, with pictures, diagrams, and numerous "At a Glance" information boxes complementing the text. While the statistical information may be a bit overwhelming to the lay reader for whom this book is intended, having so much data in one volume is very handy. Of interest to academic and public library patrons; researchers in industry libraries will find the numbers useful. Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.