Renewable Energy: A User's Guide

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Every day there are news reports that highlight spiralling energy costs, accelerating energy consumption, serious concerns over fuel security and fears that oil production may soon decline. All such reports are set against a background of the most serious threat to the world today-global warming and the devastating impact of climate change. This informative and wide-ranging book, written by an acknowledged expert, demonstrates how renewable energy technologies can help meet CO2 reduction targets. The author emphasizes that we need to use these technologies on a much wider scale to produce heat and electricity, and argues that if action is taken immediately it could make an enormous difference. He demonstrates how by installing a renewable energy technology in your home, you will be taking a step towards reducing your carbon footprint and ultimately you will be helping to save the planet.

It is simply a matter of fact that in the future we will need to construct homes that require little or no heat, and that they will provide most of our electricity requirements through the fabric of the building. The world has ample fuel reserves - the problem for use is to create the right infrastructure to make the most efficient use of them. Energy-efficient design using the appropriate materials, demand-side management and renewable energy are some of the most important tools to put this infrastructure in place. However, time is against us and we need to take the necessary action quickly before it is too late.

This invaluable and well-illustrated book reviews the range of currently available renewable technologies that can provide energy as heat and electricity for our homes businesses andindustry, and also save harmful emissions, energy and money.

The technologies are:

Solar energy using solar panels for hot water and electricity.

Heat pumps, which take heat from the ground for homes and buildings.

Biomass fuels such as wood and waste, and even specially grown crops.

Wind power, which can provide us with significant amounts of electricity in the decades ahead.

Hydroelectricity where suitable rivers and streams are available.

In the final section the author reviews the prospects for some emerging technologies in the form of geothermal, wave and tidal power, and explores their potential in the energy-hungry world of the future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This user-friendly title written by an expert in power engineering provides a clearly illustrated guide to renewable energy, its benefits and applications."  —Environmentalist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847970619
  • Publisher: Crowood Press, Limited, The
  • Publication date: 10/27/2008
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy McCrea MBE has worked as a power engineer and manager within the energy industry for more than years. Over the last 20 years, his work has focused on the environmental side of the industry. Since 2003, he has been the director of Action Renewables, a government-funded private company, established to promote the rapid development and uptake of renewable energy. Dr. McCrea is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Environmentalist, and a Fellow of the Energy Institute.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Jeremy Leggett 6

Dedication and Acknowledgements 7

1 Renewable Energy: An Introduction 8

2 Solar Water Heating 28

3 Heat Pumps 52

4 Biofuels 76

5 Wind Energy 106

6 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) 133

7 Hydroelectricity 158

8 Renewable Energy Technologies for the Near Future 179

Appendix I Getting Revenue from Renewable or Microgeneration Electricity 197

Appendix II Renewable Energy Standards 202

Index 207

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