- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781844073559
- ISBN-13: 978-1844073559
- ASIN: 1844073556
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,223,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Energy Autonomy: The Economic, Social and Technological Case for Renewable Energy 1st Edition
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'The most important political book of the year.' Die Zeit 'Hermann Scheer - principal architect of the policies that converted cloudy Germany into the world's leading market for solar energy - demonstrates that the German model can and must be replicated in every nation that aspires toward a healthy, peaceful future.' Deins Hayes, Former Director of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory 'This book is a powerful indictment of how we meet our energy needs. In urging an acceleration of the transition to renewable energy, Scheer exposes the fallacies surrounding the current paradigm and looks beyond the purely environmental benefits to outline the path to energy security.' Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute 'Hermann Scheer has taken aim against a number of our planet's Goliaths all at once. The world needs pioneers like him.' Ernst Ulrich Von Weisacker, Dean of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara 'This book is strongly recommended for anyone interested in climate change and sustainability.' SPA Newsletter This is one of the most readable accounts of the alternative energy generation field that has been produced recently. It is clear in its analysis and certain in its direction...[and] deserves the widest readership. Bigpond '...definitely one of the best [books] yet written about renewable energy policy.' Photon International 'Comprehensively demonstrates why the transition to renewable energy is essential and how it can be done' SirReadaLot.org 'Sheer passionately addresses the book to the growing number of renewable energy advocates, and to the even greater number of those who are simply curious about it.' SirReadaLot.org
About the Author
DR HERMANN SCHEER is a member of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and President of EUROSOLAR, the European Association for Renewable Energy. He is also General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy. In a career devoted to the replacement of nuclear and fossil fuels with environmentally sound energy sources, Dr Scheer has received numerous awards, including the World Solar Prize, the World Prize for BioEnergy, the World Wind Energy Award and the Alternative Nobel Prize. In 2002 Time Magazine recognized him as one of five 'Heroes for the Green Century'.
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But Hermann Scheer explains very well why communities needs to get more independent regarding energy production and what options are available to get there.
Mr. Scheer is very thorough in making his arguments and I sure this is necessary to convince government and industry but it sure makes for dry reading for the average lay person.
The writing style of the book, like Dr Scheer's live presentation, suffers from his imperfect English skills. In person, I give him a lot of credit for the courage and composure to, in spite of these limitations, stand up in front of audiences and give an impassioned argument laying out the case for change. There was one questioner, in particular, who was obviously in opposition, but also quite obtuse in his question, and I thought Dr Scheer handled it quite gracefully, although he did dodge the question to a great extent. (I think that's the thing I would dread the most about public speaking about these issues—not so much those who disagree, but cases where the question is itself hard to understand).
It is unfortunate that the book has the same problems. These could be smoothed out very nicely by the right kind of editor, who could get rid of the stiffness, the awkward phrasing, and so on, while still allowing the essence of the author's style to get through. An editor can also do some fact-checking. For example, I noted Dr Scheer making two serious factual errors, and being quite emphatic in each case. In the book, he claimed that heat production from nuclear power alone would be a cause of global warming. (It wouldn't—it's at least a couple of orders of magnitude for that, and a couple of simple numbers and some simple arithmetic will prove it). In the live presentation, he claimed that, if all autos used hydrogen in fuel cells, the water produced would produce enough humidity to cause a serious problem in large cities. In fact, he said "No doubt about it." But that's just baloney, to be polite about it. I'm no fan of hydrogen and fuel cells, but they would have enough of an efficiency advantage over combustion engines to compensate for the fact that some of the combustion engine's fuel is carbon and thus "drier." What's my larger point? Simply that more competent editing could prevent points of embarrassment like these, at least in book form.
I'm not sure who is best positioned to pick up where Dr Scheer left off. Tony Seba may be the best possibility right now, but there are probably others. I'm going to guess that Dr Scheer was much more successful in Germany than he could have been over here, but the message itself is much more portable than that.