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The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

G√ľnther Grass
This book is of the greatest importance for the future of mankind.
Jeremy Leggett
A masterwork by the master advocate for solar.
From the Publisher
New Scientist

'A masterwork by the master advocate for solar.'
Jeremy Eggett, author of The Carbon War

'This book has the greatest importance for the future of mankind.'
Gunther Grass, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 1999

'The most powerfully written book on the energy situation. Highly Recommended!'

'Scheer's is a heady, utopian vision. Here comes the sun.'
New Scientist

'Forget Kyoto - all talk and no action; this book shows how technological challenges can be met using indigenous, renewable and universally available resources, and predicts the enormous benefits which will flow from doing so.'
Energy World

'The Solar Economy presents a compelling case for weaning the world off its potentially disastrous reliance on oil.'
Environment Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853838354
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Herman Scheer, winner of TIME Magazine's 'Heroes of the Green Century' for his national and international commitment for Renewable Energy. HERMANN SCHEER is a Member of Parliament for the German Government, the Deutscher Bundestag. In addition, he is President of EUROSOLAR, the European Association for Renewable Energies, and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy. He has been awarded several prizes in recognition of his work and achievements, receiving the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1999, the World Solar Prize in 1998 and the World Prize for BioEnergy in 2000.

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Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
List of acronyms and abbreviations
Scenario: From fossil fuels to solar power: transforming the global economy 1
Pt. I Captivity or liberation: fossil fuel and solar supply chains compared
Ch. 1 Ensnared by fossil supply chains 37
Ch. 2 Exploiting solar resources: the new political and economic freedom 62
Pt. II The pathological politics of fossil resources
Ch. 3 The 21st century writing on the wall: the political cost of fuel and resource conflict 93
Ch. 4 The distorting effects of fossil supply chains 120
Ch. 5 The mythology of fossil energy 137
Pt. III Throwing off the fossil supply chains
Ch. 6 Energy beyond the grid 173
Ch. 7 The untapped wealth of solar resources 206
Ch. 8 The profitability of renewable energy and resources 231
Pt. IV Towards a solar economy
Ch. 9 Exploiting solar energy 251
Ch. 10 Regionalization of the global economy through solar resources 285
Ch. 11 The visible hand of the sun: blueprint for a solar world 312
References 326
Index 341
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2003

    The Future Portrait Today

    As a continuous student of political science, who is very concerned about the future of this planet and mankind, and, as an operator of a small hydropower plant (600 MWH/a), I find Dr. Scheer's assessment and thoughts fantastic and inspirational. Even non-environmentalists and conservative economic thinkers should read this book - perhaps they will wake-up and realize that the future of our economies has already began and that the "Solar Economy" is inevitable.

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