IntroductionA systems Approach to Energy ChallengesClimate ChangeFossil fuels, relative CO2 emissions, and modeling of consumption and remaining reserves Fossil fuel combustion technologies Carbon SequestrationNuclear EnergyThe solar energy resourceSolar technologyWind PowerEnergy technologies for transportationSystems Issues for Transportation EnergyOther technologies and applicationsConclusion: Toward a Sustainable Future
A Message from the Author
My name is Francis Vanek and I am the lead author of this book. For the past five years I have been teaching in the energy field in the Cornell University College of Engineering, and the content of the book is based on my experience as a teacher, researcher, and energy systems consultant. Some reasons to purchase the book: 1. It is timely: it deals with issues that are pressing, such as sustainable development 'especially for poor countries', climate change, and changing availability and cost of fossil fuel resources. 2. It covers many possible energy solutions: including ways of using fossil fuels more efficiently, the role of nuclear energy, means of growing the use of renewable energy sources, and the question of how to provide energy for transportation. Among renewables, wind and solar energy are especially important in the book, because there are vast amounts of these resources available to be harnessed on the planet. 3. The book appeals to a wide range of readers: if you have a college degree in engineering or science 'for example, physics, chemistry, geology, etc., you will have sufficient background to understand the quantitative explanations that underly each technology presented in the book. No previous knowledge of the technologies is assumed. Alternatively, if you come from a different background such as natural resources, social sciences, environmental activism, etc., you will benefit from the written explanations that surround each technology. I have come to this conclusion from showing the book to people from many different backgrounds. 4. The book has undergone extensive 'beta testing' with Cornell students: many of the worked examples found throughout the book were used in lecture presentations or as homework problems, and many of the chapters themselves were used as handouts in courses before they were incorporated into the book. Lastly, why 4 out of 5 stars coming from the lead author? The reason is that the current energy and climate change crisis is not easily solved, and we don't have all the answers in this book. The answers we do give may lead to more questions in the minds of the reader -- this is to be expected. That said, I have confidence in the quality of this book, and I genuinely recommend it. Thank you for considering it. Here’s to working together to create a sustainable planet.