- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First edition (November 26, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780312643751
- ISBN-13: 978-0312643751
- ASIN: 0312643756
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy First Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this rigorous, impassioned, and nonpartisan study, science writer Shere blends first-person reportage and anecdotal history, bringing the state of renewable energy vibrantly alive. A quick glimpse of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison riding together in a Model T through the Florida Everglades in search of land to grow ethanol-producing crops gives way to Shere, standing in the pouring rain, looking over a field of swaying Chinese silver grass—the best choice to replace corn as the basis for ethanol. A description of elegantly attired British colonialists sipping champagne and marveling excitedly at a solar-powered irrigation system in early 20th-century Egypt transitions to an account of researchers at Purdue University and MIT who are making unprecedented advances in solar energy efficiency using nanotechnology. Unfailingly positive, never speculating about entrenched interests, profit margins, or global greed, the stories nevertheless generate provocative contrasts. The fascination, awe, and excitement with which our forbearers viewed advances in alternative energy contrasts markedly with the skepticism, cynicism, and outright hostility that colors the conversation today. While the debate over renewable energy remains mired in politics, Shere's approach provides a refreshingly optimistic outlook, grounded, but not suffocating, in technical detail, and confirming that, while the relatively low price of oil keeps advances on the margins, the work necessary to wean ourselves off fossil fuels is ongoing. Agent: Irene Goodman, Irene Goodman Agency. (Nov.)
With the emerging worldwide consensus that humanity needs to reduce greenhouse gases and prepare for the depletion of oil reserves, more and more books are appearing on alternative-energy schemes. Most of them present how-to or where-and-when approaches. In a change of focus, this lively and informative overview by prolific radio science reporter Shere looks at green energy from another angle, highlighting its surprising history, dynamic contemporary development, and looming probable future. Readers may be astonished to learn, for instance, that solar power devices have been around for almost a century and that the earth’s abundant hot rocks, if properly tapped, could easily supply all the world’s energy needs. Beyond interesting facts, however, Shere also gives an in-depth report on each major renewable energy source, including green gas, solar, wind, water, and geothermal, demonstrating how engineers are overcoming the limitations of each. In contrast to many of alternative energy’s status quo–supporting critics, Shere provides many sound reasons for optimism about a future in which power generation causes minimal damage to the environment. --Carl Hays
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In response to this question of what to do when the wood (insert coal, oil, gas, etc) runs out, man has been intrigued for millennia to find the means to harness sources of renewable energy on this earth. But the road to accomplishing this task in cost-effective ways, especially when viewed against competing technologies, is not so simple.
Read Shere’s book to catch an accessible, but very challenging, account of where we have been on this issue and where we are likely to go.
Areas of controversy are explained and the truth driving choices in the area becomes more clear.