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Powering the Future: A Scientist's Guide to Energy Independence, CourseSmart eTextbook

By Daniel B. Botkin

Published by FT Press

Published Date: Mar 25, 2010

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The future of our civilization depends upon the continuous availability of enough energy to support the societies we build and live in. But we're approaching the practical limits of some of the sources of energy we've come to depend on most. What should be done about this? Few issues are as controversial. In Powering the Future, a leading scientist cuts through the controversy, presenting the facts about our energy needs, desires, and supplies and the environmental and human effects of obtaining and using energy. Dr. Daniel B. Botkin objectively assesses the true prospects, limitations, costs, risks, dangers, and tradeoffs associated with every leading and emerging source of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, solar, ocean power, and biofuels. Next, Botkin addresses the energy distribution system, outlining how it currently works, identifying its inefficiencies, and reviewing the options available for improving it. Finally, he turns to solutions, offering a realistic, scientifically and economically viable path to a sustainable, energy-independent future: one that can support an improving quality of life for Americans, and for people around the world. Simply put, Powering the Future brings together the objective information that citizens and their elected representatives need to make energy decisions that are rational, economically sensible, and environmentally sound.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xiii

About the Author     xv

Preface     xvii


Introduction: Blackout     1

Section I: Conventional Energy Sources     15

Chapter 1   Oil     19

Chapter 2   Natural Gas     37

Chapter 3   Coal     51

Chapter 4   Water Power     73

Chapter 5   Nuclear Power     85


Section II: New Energy Sources     115

Chapter 6   Wind Power     119

Chapter 7   Solar Power     141

Chapter 8   Ocean Power     163

Chapter 9   Biofuels     173


Section III: Designing an Energy System     197

Chapter 10  Transporting Energy: the Grid, Hydrogen, Batteries, and More     199

Chapter 11  Transporting Things     211

Chapter 12  Saving Energy at Home and Finding Energy at Your Feet     227

Chapter 13  Solutions     245

Endnotes     279

Index     313


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Powering the Future: A Scientist's Guide to Energy Independence, CourseSmart eTextbook
Format: Safari Book

$12.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-13-259852-1