Energy What Everyone Needs to Know®

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-17
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Without a doubt, the topic of energy--from coal, oil, and nuclear to geothermal, solar and wind--is one of the most pressing across the globe. It is of paramount importance to policy makers, economists, environmentalists, and industry as they consider which technologies to invest in, how to promote use of renewable energy sources, and how to plan for dwindling reserves of non-renewable energy. InEnergy: What Everyone Needs to Know, Jos Goldemberg, a nuclear physicist who has been hailed byTimemagazine as one of the world's top "leaders and visionaries on the environment," takes readers through the basics of the world energy system, its problems, and the technical as well as non-technical solutions to the most pressing energy problems. Addressing the issues in a Q-and-A format, Goldemberg answers such questions as: What are wind, wave, and geothermal energy? What are the problems of nuclear waste disposal? What is acid rain? What is the greenhouse gas effect? What is Carbon Capture and Storage? What are smart grids? What is the Kyoto Protocol? What is "cap and trade"? The book sheds light on the role of population growth in energy consumption, renewable energy resources, the amount of available energy reserves (and when they will run out), geopolitical issues, environmental problems, the frequency of environmental disasters, energy efficiency, new technologies, and solutions to changing consumption patterns. It will be the first place to look for information on the vital topic of energy.

Author Biography

Jos Goldemberg, a world-renowned expert on energy, is former Rector and Professor at the University of Sao Paulo and served as Secretary of State for Science and Technology and Secretary of the Environment for Brazil. In 2008 he received the Blue Planet Prize and in 2010 the Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. xi
List of Figuresp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Energy: The Basic Conceptsp. 1
What are forces?p. 1
What is-work?p. 1
What is energy?p. 2
Which are the common forces in nature?p. 2
What is friction?p. 5
How does one measure energy?p. 5
Can energy be created from nothing?p. 7
What is the First Law of Thermodynamics?p. 8
How Is Energy Used Today?
Present Energy Usep. 11
How much energy do humans need to keep alive?p. 11
How much energy do humans need for other activities?p. 11
What are the sources of energy we use?p. 13
What is the origin of the energy we use?p. 14
At what rate is energy consumption growing?p. 16
What is the relationship between population growth and energy growth?p. 16
Why is energy consumption "per capita" growing?p. 18
Mat is the relationship between energy and development?p. 18
What is energy intensity?p. 19
What is Vie Human Development Index?p. 22
What is the Gross National Happiness Index?p. 25
The World's Present Energy System
Energy Sourcesp. 29
Which are the primary energy sources?p. 29
What are secondary energy sources?p. 32
Why are there losses in converting energy sources?p. 33
What is a Sankey diagram?p. 37
Fossil Fuelsp. 38
What are the fossil fuelsp. 38
What do we know about coal?p. 39
What do we know about oil?p. 39
What is abiotic oil?p. 41
How is the price of oil evolving?p. 41
What do we know about natural gas?p. 43
What is the expected life of fossil fuel reserves and resources?p. 44
How unevenly distributed are reserves of fossil fuels around the world?p. 45
Renewablesp. 46
What are renewables?p. 46
What is biomass?p. 46
What are hydroelectric plants?p. 48
What is wind energy?p. 50
What are photovoltaic panels?p. 50
What is solar thermal energy?p. 52
What is solar thermoelectricity?p. 53
What Is wave energy?p. 53
What is tidal energy?p. 54
What is geothermal energy?p. 54
What is the potential of renewable energies?p. 55
How much land is needed to produce energy from renewables?p. 55
What are the prospects for increased use of renewables?p. 58
Nuclear Powerp. 60
What is nuclear power?p. 60
Why has the growth of nuclear energy declined since 1985?p. 62
What are the problems of nuclear waste disposal?p. 63
What is the nuclear "renaissance"?p. 64
What is nuclear fusion?p. 65
The Problems of the Present Energy System
Exhaustion of Fossil Fuels and Energy Securityp. 69
Are fossil fuels being exhausted?p. 69
What is the "peak oil debate"?p. 70
What is energy security?p. 72
What are the problems of access to energy services in the developing countries?p. 74
Environmental Problemsp. 76
Why are environmental problems so important today?p. 76
Which are the local environmental problems?p. 78
What is urban air pollution?p. 78
What is indoor air pollution?p. 79
Which are the regional environmental problems?p. 82
What is acid rain?p. 82
Which are the global environmental problems?p. 83
What is the greenhouse gas effect?p. 84
What is the connection between global warming and energy?p. 86
What is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?p. 88
What are the facts concerning climate change?p. 88
What are forecasts of climate models?p. 89
What are the environmental impacts from renewable sources?p. 90
What are the impacts of hydroelectricity plants?p. 91
How serious are oil leakages and spills?p. 92
Is deforestation caused by energy use?p. 93
What is the ecological footprint?p. 95
Energy Costsp. 97
What are the costs of energy?p. 97
What are externalities?p. 98
What are "learning curves"?p. 100
How large are energy subsidies?p. 101
Technical Solutions and Policies
Energy Efficiencyp. 105
What are the existing technical solutions to the present energy system?p. 105
What is the potential of energy efficiency?p. 105
What are the advantages of energy efficiency?p. 106
What are the barriers to energy efficiency?p. 107
What is the potential for energy efficiency in power production?p. 108
What is the potential of energy efficiency in buildings?p. 109
How can we increase energy efficiency in buildings?p. 111
What is building retrofitting?p. 112
What is the impact of urbanization on energy use?p. 113
What is the energy efficiency potential in industry?p. 114
What is the energy efficiency potential in transportation?p. 115
What is the "rebound" effect?p. 117
New Technologiesp. 119
What is cogeneration?p. 119
What is the role of new technologies for fossil fuels?p. 120
What is Carbon Capture and Storage?p. 121
What is the future of transportation?p. 123
Are natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and hydrogen alternatives for transportation?p. 123
Are electrically powered vehicles feasible?p. 124
What are fuel cells?p. 125
How much progress is being made in battery storage?p. 126
What is the role of energy storage?p. 127
What is the role of long-distance electricity transmission?p. 128
What are smart grids?p. 129
What are the prospects of biomass?p. 129
te ethanol a good substitute for gasoline?p. 130
What are the prospects of biodiesel?p. 131
Is there competition between bioenergy and food?p. 133
Policiesp. 135
What are policy targets for renewable energy?p. 135
What are biofuels mandates?p. 135
What are Renewable Portfolio Standards?p. 136
What are CAFE standards?p. 137
What are "feed-in tariffs"?p. 137
What is the Climate Convention?p. 138
What is the Kyoto Protocol?p. 139
What is "cap and trade"?p. 141
What are carbon taxes?p. 141
What is technological "leapfrogging"?p. 142
What is sustainable development?p. 144
Nontechnical Solutions
Energy and Lifestylep. 147
What is the relationship between energy and lifestyles?p. 147
Is technological development the only driving force for changing lifestyles?p. 149
What is the impact of transportation modes on lifestyles?p. 150
What are the major determinants of lifestyles changes?p. 151
Decimal Prefixesp. 153
Common Energy Unit Conversion Factorsp. 154
General Referencesp. 155
Indexp. 159
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