- Paperback: 390 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-VCH; 1 edition (January 25, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3527325409
- ISBN-13: 978-3527325405
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,576,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future 1st Edition
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“The subjects are presented in a way that makes reading a real pleasure and promotes reflecting on the complex issues, thereby presenting the reader sustainable knowledge in its best sense. A clear recommendation!.” (Energy Technology, 1 August 2014)"It describes the complexity and importance of energy, and opportunities for future energy technologies and practices that will enhance sustainable development. Summing Up: Recommend. All readers." (Choice, 1 January 2012)
"The appeal of this as a compact reference volume is therefore broad and I would strongly recommend it for all who are interested in finding out more about the energy issues that we need to think about in modern and future society." (Chemistry World, 1 August 2011)
"An excellent source of updated and carefully documented information on the entangled aspects of the energy issue, this book is a guide for scientists, students and teachers looking for ways out of the energy and climate crisis, and the problems and disparities generated during the fossil fuel era." (ETDE Energy database, 14 February 2011)
From the Back Cover
An easy read, balancing the pros and cons, this book surveys the energy issue from a broad scientific perspective while considering environmental, economic, and social factors. It explains the basic concepts, provides a historical overview of energy resources, assesses our unsustainable energy system based on fossil fuels, and shows that the energy crisis is not only a tough challenge, but also an unprecedented opportunity to become more concerned about the world in which we live and the society we have built up. By outlining the alternatives for today and the future, it gives an extensive overview on nuclear energy, solar thermal and photovoltaics, solar fuels, wind power, ocean energies and other renewables, highlighting the increasing importance of electricity and the long-term perspectives of a hydrogen-based economy. An excellent source of updated and carefully documented information on the entangled aspects of the energy issue, this book is a guide for scientists, students and teachers looking for ways out of the energy and climate crisis, and the problems and disparities generated during the fossil fuel era.
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Besides transportation, however, humanity faces the problem of producing and delivering energy to large cities (many of which are megacities with >20 million inhabitants) and the industry. The use of carbon in thermoelectric power plants contributes to increase CO2 emissions while nuclear power plants face a number of problems connected to the production of nuclear fuel, its recycle, and the high costs and long periods for their decommission and dismantlement. As a result, alternative or renewable energies are now more important than ever: solar energy, geothermal energy, wind, ocean (tidal) energy, and hydroelectric energy. While some of these alternative energies, like geothermal and tidal energies, are not available to each country on our planet, solar energy is available everywhere. Indeed, new and efficent approaches to harness solar energy are currently under intense scrutiny and there is hope that further progress in the development of photovoltaic cells and solar furnaces will shift several governments to consider more seriously such important form of energy.
All the above issues are discussed at length in the book of Armaroli and Balzani; a large amount of data concerned with the production and consumption of different forms of energy is provided in the form of tables, graphs, and charts, and many technical concepts as well as energy-related political issues are discussed with great clarity. In my opinion, this book with its 946 references represents an indispensable reference not only for scientists and technologists but also for entrepreneurs as well as those involved in drafting new energy-related policies.
Let's ban the consumption of oil.
Although based on a wealth of scientific figures, the book reads like a novel.
Did you ever realize that a liter of oil does not cost more than a liter of mineral water?
Are you aware that it is possible to continue living in the same way with new, sustainable forms of energy?
This book gives hope for the future of our planet!
But immediate action is required. Technologies are available and ought to be given priority.
With sometimes shocking data, the authors defend the need of a quick switch away from the oil-based economy and society.
But there is hope. The authors, Vincenzo Balzani and Nicola Armaroli, give plenty of evidence and realistic guidelines towards an "oil-free" economy and a sustainable future for our "Spacecraft Earth".
I hope it will be translated quickly in many other languages, to have this crucial message spread throughout the world.
On the other hand, their information-dense prose, printed in tiny type on oversized pages, makes for tricky reading. Though this is an area where I have deep psychological investment, my eyes keep sliding off the page. I've spent entire evenings trying to read this book, and only covered a few pages. Eighteen months after receiving it, I'm still only two-thirds through. And this from a guy who cares about the subject already!
Don't mistake me. I have enjoyed what I've read. The authors do a good job explaining complex questions in layman's terms, issues like how we define energy, what returns justify particular investments, and what questions remain unresolved for specific energy sources. Their carefully subdivided table of contents facilitates browsing, and they supplement their dense text with charts and graphics that clarify their admittedly difficult concepts.
This book does run long. Over three hundred closely spaced pages of technical prose makes for very slow reading. The authors do avoid impenetrable academese, thankfully, and if they must use jargon or technical terminology, they're good about providing plain-English definitions so readers don't just drift. But this is not casual reading. Be prepared for a long, painstaking reading process.
On balance, I do recommend this book. Because we're never going to give up our light bulbs and climate control, we have to be prepared for what comes next with the price of oil (monetary price or ecological consequences) become too high to bear. The authors do a good job spelling out the options, all of which derive their power in some way from the sun. Just be prepared. This book deserves careful reading, and forces you to slow way down.