There are many misconceptions about the future of global energy often presented as fact by the media, politicians, business leaders, activists, and even scientists_wasting time and money and hampering the development of progressive energy policies. Energy Myths and Realities debunks the most common fallacies to make way for a constructive, scientific approach to the global energy challenge.
This bold and controversial argument shows why energy transitions are inherently complex and prolonged affairs, and how ignoring this fact raises unrealistic expectations that the United States and other global economies can be weaned quickly from a primary dependency on fossil fuels. * Includes case studies of energy transitions in eight nations * Presents graphs of energy transitions on global and national scales, showing both common features and idiosyncratic patterns * Features photographs of the containment vessel of America's first nuclear reactor and of a stationary gas turbine * Provides a thorough bibliography
An objective, comprehensive treatment of the world's energy situation assesses the major trends in energy consumption across the globe while examining the potential of wind, solar, hydroenergy, and biomass energy. (Technology)
Author: Laurance R. Geri
Release Date: 2017-09-25
Genre: Political Science
In an effort to provide greater awareness of the necessary policy decisions facing our elected and appointed officials, Energy Policy in the U.S.: Politics, Challenges, and Prospects for Change presents an overview of important energy policies and the policy process in the United States, including their history, goals, methods of action, and consequences. In the first half of the book, the authors frame the energy policy issue by reviewing U.S. energy policy history, identifying the policy-making players, and illuminating the costs, benefits, and economic and political realities of currently competing policy alternatives. The book examines the stakeholders and their attempts to influence energy policy and addresses the role of supply and demand on the national commitment to energy conservation and the development of alternative energy sources. The latter half of the book delves into specific energy policy strategies, including economic and regulatory options, and factors that influence energy policies, such as the importance of international cooperation. Renewed interest in various renewable and nontraditional energy resources—for example, hydrogen, nuclear fusion, biomass, and tide motion—is examined, and policy agendas are explored in view of scientific, economic, regulatory, production, and environmental constraints. This book provides excellent insight into the complex task of creating a comprehensive energy policy and its importance in the continued availability of energy to power our way of life and economy while protecting our environment and national security.
Packed with fascinating facts and insight, this book will fuel dinner party debate, and provide readers with the science and politics behind the world’s most controversial resource. Without oil, there would be no globalisation, no plastic, little transport, and a global political landscape that few would recognise. It is the lifeblood of the modern world, and humanity’s dependence upon it looks set to continue for decades to come. In this captivating book, the author of the acclaimed Energy: A Beginner’s Guide, Vaclav Smil, explains all matters related to the ‘black stuff’, from its discovery in the earth, right through to the political maelstrom that surrounds it today.
"There's no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil." -- Bill GatesIn this book, Vaclav Smil argues that power density is a key determinant of the nature and dynamics of energy systems. Any understanding of complex energy systems must rely on quantitative measures of many fundamental variables. Power density -- the rate of energy flux per unit of area -- is an important but largely overlooked measure. Smil provides the first systematic, quantitative appraisal of power density, offering detailed reviews of the power densities of renewable energy flows, fossil fuels, thermal electricity generation, and all common energy uses.Smil shows that careful quantification, critical appraisals, and revealing comparisons of power densities make possible a deeper understanding of the ways we harness, convert, and use energies. Conscientious assessment of power densities, he argues, proves particularly revealing when contrasting the fossil fuel--based energy system with renewable energy conversions. Smil explains that modern civilization has evolved as a direct expression of the high power densities of fossil fuel extraction. He argues that our inevitable (and desirable) move to new energy arrangements involving conversions of lower-density renewable energy sources will require our society -- currently dominated by megacities and concentrated industrial production -- to undergo a profound spatial restructuring of its energy system.
People rarely stop to think about where the energy they use to power their everyday lives comes from and when they do it is often to ask a worried question: is mankind’s energy usage killing the planet? How do we deal with nuclear waste? What happens when the oil runs out? Energy: The Basics answers these questions but it also does much more. In this engaging yet even-handed introduction, readers are introduced to: the concept of ‘energy’ and what it really means the ways energy is currently generated and the sources used new and emerging energy technologies such as solar power and biofuels the impacts of energy use on the environment including climate change Featuring explanatory diagrams, tables, a glossary and an extensive further reading list, this book is the ideal starting point for anyone interested in the impact and future of the world’s energy supply.
This book provides a detailed, global examination of energy transitions, supplying a long-term historical perspective, an up-to-date assessment of recent and near-term advances in energy production technology and implementation, and an explanation of why efforts to limit global warming and to shift away from fossil fuels have been gradual. • Presents historical coverage of energy production, energy use, and key technical and economic factors that affect the currently unfolding transitions • Offers insightful analysis of energy transitions on both the national and global scale to explain the possibilities and limitations of the process • Supplies a critical appraisal of new renewable conversions that makes clear their advantages and potential benefits as well as their inherent unavoidable limitations • Enables general readers to gain an in-depth understanding of energy transitions from the perspective of an acclaimed scientist with expertise in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, technical innovation, and public policy
Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2015-07-06
Natural gas is the world’s cleanest fossil fuel; it generates less air pollution and releases less CO2 per unit of useful energy than liquid fuels or coals. With its vast supplies of conventional resources and nonconventional stores, the extension of long-distance gas pipelines and the recent expansion of liquefied natural gas trade, a truly global market has been created for this clean fuel. Natural Gas: Fuel for the 21st Century discusses the place and prospects of natural gas in modern high-energy societies. Vaclav Smil presents a systematic survey of the qualities, origins, extraction, processing and transportation of natural gas, followed by a detailed appraisal of its many preferred, traditional and potential uses, and the recent emergence of the fuel as a globally traded commodity. The unfolding diversification of sources, particularly hydraulic fracturing, and the role of natural gas in national and global energy transitions are described. The book concludes with a discussion on the advantages, risks, benefits and costs of natural gas as a leading, if not dominant, fuel of the 21st century. This interdisciplinary text will be of interest to a wide readership concerned with global energy affairs including professionals and academics in energy and environmental science, policy makers, consultants and advisors with an interest in the rapidly-changing global energy industry.
Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2013-03-18
Genre: Technology & Engineering
Meat eating is often a contentious subject, whether considering the technical, ethical, environmental, political, or health-related aspects of production and consumption. This book is a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary examination and critique of meat consumption by humans, throughout their evolution and around the world. Setting the scene with a chapter on meat’s role in human evolution and its growing influence during the development of agricultural practices, the book goes on to examine modern production systems, their efficiencies, outputs, and impacts. The major global trends of meat consumption are described in order to find out what part its consumption plays in changing modern diets in countries around the world. The heart of the book addresses the consequences of the "massive carnivory" of western diets, looking at the inefficiencies of production and at the huge impacts on land, water, and the atmosphere. Health impacts are also covered, both positive and negative. In conclusion, the author looks forward at his vision of “rational meat eating”, where environmental and health impacts are reduced, animals are treated more humanely, and alternative sources of protein make a higher contribution. Should We Eat Meat? is not an ideological tract for or against carnivorousness but rather a careful evaluation of meat's roles in human diets and the environmental and health consequences of its production and consumption. It will be of interest to a wide readership including professionals and academics in food and agricultural production, human health and nutrition, environmental science, and regulatory and policy making bodies around the world.
"I wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next 'Star Wars' movie. In his latest book, Energy and Civilization: A History, he goes deep and broad to explain how innovations in humans' ability to turn energy into heat, light, and motion have been a driving force behind our cultural and economic progress over the past 10,000 years. -- Bill Gates, Gates Notes, Best Books of the Year Energy is the only universal currency; it is necessary for getting anything done. The conversion of energy on Earth ranges from terra-forming forces of plate tectonics to cumulative erosive effects of raindrops. Life on Earth depends on the photosynthetic conversion of solar energy into plant biomass. Humans have come to rely on many more energy flows -- ranging from fossil fuels to photovoltaic generation of electricity -- for their civilized existence. In this monumental history, Vaclav Smil provides a comprehensive account of how energy has shaped society, from pre-agricultural foraging societies through today's fossil fuel--driven civilization. Humans are the only species that can systematically harness energies outside their bodies, using the power of their intellect and an enormous variety of artifacts -- from the simplest tools to internal combustion engines and nuclear reactors. The epochal transition to fossil fuels affected everything: agriculture, industry, transportation, weapons, communication, economics, urbanization, quality of life, politics, and the environment. Smil describes humanity's energy eras in panoramic and interdisciplinary fashion, offering readers a magisterial overview. This book is an extensively updated and expanded version of Smil's Energy in World History (1994). Smil has incorporated an enormous amount of new material, reflecting the dramatic developments in energy studies over the last two decades and his own research over that time.
Author: Harold H. Schobert
Publisher: CRC Press
Release Date: 2014-03-27
Energy and Society: An Introduction, Second Edition provides readers with a detailed introduction to energy sources and energy utilization. This book presents an overview of alternative energy issues and technologies, discusses the pros and cons of various energy sources, and explores their impacts on society and the environment. What’s New in the Second Edition: This second edition offers simple updates, as well as completely rewritten material, regarding the last decade in areas including global climate change, oil prices, renewable and alternative fuels, and diversion of civil nuclear energy programs into nuclear weapons proliferation. It covers the development of energy technology from the time of early humans through antiquity, medieval times, and the Industrial Revolution. It also addresses the development of nuclear energy, energy supply and demand, geopolitics of energy, and the various environmental issues associated with energy use. Keeps mathematics to a minimum, making the book usable for a variety of academic majors Includes up-to-date coverage of all new energy sources Traces the development and utilization of energy throughout history Energy and Society: An Introduction, Second Edition can benefit undergraduate students taking a survey course in engineering, as well as professionals in the energy supply, energy planning, or environmental industry.
Author: Mario Leclerc
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
Release Date: 2014-10-10
Genre: Technology & Engineering
Functional organic materials are increasingly important in cutting-edge applications such as energy production, storage and conversion, biomedicine and sustainable development. Top-notch specialists have created a unique and timely overview for undergraduate (final year) and graduate students with a background in chemistry but should also be useful for physicists and engineers.
With his famous equation, E=mc2, Einstein showed us that all matter can be described as energy. It is everywhere; it is everything. In this engaging introduction, renowned author and scientist Vaclav Smil covers a wide range of topics, from the inner workings of the human body to the race for more efficient and eco-friendly fuels. Shedding light on the science behind global warming and efforts to prevent it, and how our daily decisions affect energy consumption, this book highlights the importance of energy in both past and present societies. Whether you're after insight or dinner table conversation, Energy: A Beginner's Guide will amaze and inform, uncovering the science behind one of the most important concepts in our universe.