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Crossing the Energy Divide: Moving from Fossil Fuel Dependence to a Clean-Energy Future

By Robert U. Ayres, Edward H. Ayres

Published by Pearson Prentice Hall

Published Date: Dec 20, 2009


Praise for Crossing the Energy Divide


“This book makes coherent and rigorous arguments that increasing energy efficiency is the primary driver of economic growth today and is key to managing climate change.”

Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)


“It’s exciting to see some of the riddles of economic history solved. Energy efficiency may become the master key to future wealth!”

Ernst von Weizsacker, Dean, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (ret), University of California, Santa Barbara


“This important new book compels a significantly greater attention to the critical role of energy productivity in maintaining a robust economy.”

John A. “Skip” Laitner, Director, Economic and Social Analysis, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)


“Even if renewable energy sources can eventually sustain present living standards in industrialized countries, it will require decades for them to grow into that role. This book is by far the most realistic and helpful proposal I have seen for what can be done to cross the enormous energy gap between what we have and what we want.”

Dennis Meadows, Coauthor, Limits to Growth


“This book is ‘mythbusters’ applied to the conventional wisdom that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also reduce income. It should switch the debate from what it will cost to mitigate climate change to a search for policy changes to spur profitable efficiency investments in generation and use of energy services.”

Thomas R. Casten, Chair, Recycled Energy Development, LLC


“Crossing the Energy Divide has appeared right when those of us in the energy sector need it most. Robert and Edward Ayres do an excellent job of explaining that every product and service has an energy component, and the cost of that component will determine our future quality of life.”

John K. Cool, P.E., C.P.E, President, PowerPlus Engineering, Inc.


The Environmentally and Economically Smart Strategy for Solving the Global Energy Crisis--Starting Now


If we continue our highly inefficient, dangerous energy usage, we’re headed for both economic and environmental catastrophe. However, the hard truth is that alternative fuels can’t fully replace fossil fuels for decades. What’s more, new research indicates that energy inefficiencies are retarding economic growth even more than most experts ever realized.


Crossing the Energy Divide is about solving all these problems at once. The authors, two leading experts in energy and environmental economics, show how massive improvements in energy efficiency can bridge the global economy until clean renewables can fully replace fossil fuels.


Robert and Edward Ayres demonstrate how we can radically reform the way we manage our existing energy systems to double the amount of “energy service” we get from every drop of fossil fuel we use.


These techniques require no scientific breakthroughs: Many companies and institutions are applying them right now, but tens of thousands more could. This book offers a strategic guide for using them to solve the energy crisis once and for all–reducing carbon emissions, achieving true energy security, and reigniting economic growth for decades to come.


More energy, without more emissions

Recapturing lost energy from today’s fossil fuels


There is such a thing as a free lunch

Mitigating climate disaster and improving prosperity at the same time


The future of electricity

Reforming tomorrow’s electrical system: smarter, more productive, and more reliable


The implications for cities, transportation, business, and government

Making the decisions that prepare you for a high-cost energy future



Table of Contents

About the Authors     xi

Introduction     The Chasm to Be Crossed    1


Chapter 1        An American Awakening    9

Chapter 2        Recapturing Lost Energy    31

Chapter 3        Engineering an Economic Bridge    45

Chapter 4        The Invisible-Energy Revolution    59

Chapter 5        The Future of Electric Power    79

Chapter 6        Liquid Fuels: The Hard Reality    101

Chapter 7        Vehicles: The End of the Affair    113

Chapter 8        Preparing Cities for the Perfect Storm    125

Chapter 9        The Water-Energy Connection    145

Chapter 10      Policy Priorities    157

Chapter 11      Implications for Business Management    181

Chapter 12      How Much, How Fast?    191


Comments and References    203

Index    227



Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-13-264399-5

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-264399-3

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