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The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future
     

The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future

by Hermann Scheer, Andrew Ketley
 

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ISBN-10: 1853838357

ISBN-13: 9781853838354

Pub. Date: 09/28/2002

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

The global economy and the way of life it has created are based on the exploitation of fossil fuels -- coal, oil and, more recently, natural gas -- and fossil fuels will be the engine of the collapse of that economy. Without fundamental change, it has no future.

Fossil energy not only threatens massive environmental and social disruption through global warming but,

Overview

The global economy and the way of life it has created are based on the exploitation of fossil fuels -- coal, oil and, more recently, natural gas -- and fossil fuels will be the engine of the collapse of that economy. Without fundamental change, it has no future.

Fossil energy not only threatens massive environmental and social disruption through global warming but, at present rates of consumption, it will run out within decades, causing huge industrial dislocation. Even before then, the conflicts and imbalances it causes in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world's economy will be frighteningly exacerbated.

The alternative exists: renewable energy from renewable sources -- above all solar. Substituting renewable for fossil resources will take a new industrial revolution, which is imperative if the worst of the damage is to be averted, and which also offers an unprecedented chance to restructure the international order, revitalize regional economies and prevent environmental devastation.

It can be done, and it can be done in time. The Solar Economy, by one of the world's most effective analysts and advocates, lays out the blueprints, showing how the political, economic and technological challenges can be met using indigenous, renewable and universally available resources, and the enormous opportunities and benefits that will flow from doing so.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781853838354
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Edition description:
1
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures and tablesvii
Forewordix
Acknowledgementsxviii
List of acronyms and abbreviationsxix
Scenario: From fossil fuels to solar power: transforming the global economy1
The power of the pyromaniacs5
Fossil resource dependency: how economic processes have come adrift from their environmental and social bases10
Global competition in place of global environmental policy12
The origins of the fossil-fuel economy14
Accelerating change and global displacement15
Business unbound: cutting loose from nature and society19
Reconnecting business and society through solar resources21
From the political to the economic solar manifesto25
Part ICaptivity or Liberation: Fossil Fuel and Solar Supply Chains Compared
Chapter 1Ensnared by fossil supply chains37
Long supply chains due to limited resources: the logic of globalization37
Fossil resource supply chains and industrial concentration: market destruction through market mechanisms44
The spider in the web: the growing influence of Big Energy and Big Mining49
The convergence of power: networking, supercartels and the disempowerment of democratic institutions56
Chapter 2Exploiting solar resources: the new political and economic freedom62
The solar supply chain66
The economic logic of the solar energy supply chain76
Solar power: technology without technocracy82
Part IIThe Pathological Politics of Fossil Resources
Chapter 3The 21st century writing on the wall: the political cost of fuel and resource conflict93
A world in denial: the disregard for limited reserves94
Dwindling reserves versus worldwide growth in demand103
Arming for the resource conflict105
Resource reserves, gunboat diplomacy and the moral bankruptcy of society115
Chapter 4The distorting effects of fossil supply chains120
The rise and fall of the fossil city121
The fossil resource trap closes on the developing world128
Chapter 5The mythology of fossil energy137
Figures of fancy: the inadequacy of conventional energy statistics139
The inadequacy of energy forecasts143
The profligate subsidies for conventional energy systems149
The feigned productivity of nuclear and fossil energy153
Ideology and the physics of energy159
The fear of the small scale166
Part IIIThrowing off the fossil supply chains
Chapter 6Energy beyond the grid173
Wireless power: the potential of solar stand-alone and stand-by technologies174
The potential for natural and technological solar energy storage182
Synergistic applications, cross-substitution and all-load micro-power plants195
The solar technology revolution and the solar information society201
Chapter 7The untapped wealth of solar resources206
The higher productivity of biological materials209
Replacing fossil with solar resources218
Solar materials: from agricultural monocultures to polycultures220
The real biotechnology: materials science, not genetic engineering225
Chapter 8The profitability of renewable energy and resources231
Whose costs? Why solar and fossil resources cannot be compared on the basis of economic efficiency calculations233
Cost avoidance: economical application of solar resources in a nutshell237
Part IVTowards a solar economy
Chapter 9Exploiting solar energy251
The role of capital allowances--and their problems253
Tax-exempt status for solar resources: overcoming the legitimacy crisis of environmental taxation256
Possibilities and problems in the market for green electricity259
Green suppliers and municipal self-sufficiency269
Creative destruction in the energy industry and the transformation of the resource industry276
Hard roads to soft resources280
Chapter 10Regionalization of the global economy through solar resources285
Regionalization effects through solar resources288
'Own implementation' versus 'joint implementation': opportunities for the developing world292
Regionalizing trade flows296
The sustainable economy: global technology markets, regional commodity markets301
Trade not talk: beyond the energy industry308
Chapter 11The visible hand of the sun: blueprint for a solar world312
Forwards: towards the primary economy316
Work and the solar economy320
From the bounty of the sun to global economic prosperity323
References326
Index341

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