The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis [NOOK Book]

Overview

Every day, more people finally “get it.” Global warming is for real and getting worse faster than previously expected. M. King Hubbert’s oil peak looms, and cheap petroleum is a thing of the past. We face an energy crisis. This book tells you what you need to do to meet the challenge. The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook provides a clear-eyed view of the current energy situation and points toward a sustainable path forward. Greg Pahl examines renewable energy technologies currently available and homes in on ...

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The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis

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Overview

Every day, more people finally “get it.” Global warming is for real and getting worse faster than previously expected. M. King Hubbert’s oil peak looms, and cheap petroleum is a thing of the past. We face an energy crisis. This book tells you what you need to do to meet the challenge. The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook provides a clear-eyed view of the current energy situation and points toward a sustainable path forward. Greg Pahl examines renewable energy technologies currently available and homes in on strategies that can be adopted by individuals and, especially, communities. Such cooperative initiatives have been common in Europe for years and are beginning to gain a foothold in the U.S. because these medium-scale projects successfully bring people together to create collective energy security for a neighborhood, town, or region while strengthening the local economy. Each chapter focuses on a different renewable energy sector—solar, wind, water, biomass, liquid biofuels, and geothermal—then reviews their advantages and disadvantages and describes numerous examples of proven local initiatives. The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook is an eloquent appeal and a practical handbook for community and regional action to deal head-on with environmental challenges and to take responsibility for energy supplies now controlled by large, distant utilities and consortiums. This is the book for anyone ready to take meaningful steps toward a more sustainable future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Solar roof panels, backyard wind turbines and biofuel stills: in this how-to vision of a future without hydrocarbon fuels, small really is beautiful. Faced with the paired (and frightfully imminent) dangers of global warming and the point at which half the total recoverable oil on Earth has been extracted and production begins to decline, Pahl champions a spectrum of alternative energy sources. Separate chapters on water, geothermal and biomass (firewood and plant matter) energies in addition to solar, wind and biofuel (the distillate of corn, soy and other crops) sources are both practical and inspirational. First comes technical information; then Pahl reports on community and cooperative alternative-energy successes. In Asheville, N.C., 24 clustered townhouses use solar panels for heat and hot water. Toronto powers 250 homes with a cooperative-owned lakeshore wind turbine. Micro-hydro projects (100 kilowatts or less) power small businesses and homes in Nepal, Pakistan and off-the-grid American communities. A short-run train in Sweden—a nation committed to achieving an oil-free economy by 2020—runs on biogas generated by fermenting cow guts; it gets about two-and-a-half miles per cow—proof, as this readable book illustrates, that ingenuity and small-bore efforts are one way to deal with an energy crisis. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Short of building an ark or two, this sensible, readable handbook offers the best prospects for collective investment in an uncertain future."
by Carol Van Strum, Department of the Planet Earth
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603581356
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/7/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Greg Pahl is the author of numerous books on energy and also writes for Mother Earth News and various other publications on biodiesel, wind power, wood heat, solar energy, heat pumps, electric cars, and a wide range of other topics related to living in a post-carbon world.


His books include Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects (2012, Chelsea Green), Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy (2005, Chelsea Green), Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options (2003, Chelsea Green), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Saving the Environment (2001, Macmillan/Alpha Books), and The Unofficial Guide to Beating Debt (2000, IDG Books).


Pahl has been involved in environmental issues for more than twenty-five years. In the 1970s he lived off the grid in a home in Vermont with a wind turbine atop an 80-foot tower that provided for his electrical needs. He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association as well as the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op. Pahl attended the University of Vermont and was a military intelligence officer in the US Army during the Vietnam War.


Richard Heinberg is Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute. He is the author of several influential books on resource depletion including Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century Of Declines.

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Table of Contents

1. Our energy choices: Just the beginning -- Energy survival plan -- Our energy dilemma -- Our energy options -- Renewables -- Other strategies --Conservation
2. Solar energy: Solar energy strategies -- Cooperative or community systems
3. Wind power: The winds of change -- A long way -- Location, location, location -- Another model -- Denmark: a cooperative effort -- Germany --Sweden -- United Kingdom -- United States --Canada
4. Water power: Winooski One -- Hydropower 101 -- Recent hydro developments -- Small hydro -- Micro-hydro -- Ocean energy -- Future prospects
5. Biomass: Biomass 101 -- Biomass heat -- Biopower -- Biogas -- Combined -- heat and power -- A biogas-powered train
6. Liquid biofuels: Biofuels history -- Biofuels 101 -- Ethanol -- Biodiesel -- Straight veg
7. Geothermal: High-temperature geothermal -- Low-temperature geothermal
Final thoughts
8. The community solution: The big picture -- Community-supported energy --Groups that get it -- Barriers to progress -- Changing the model, changing the debate -- The wrong solutions -- Security and opportunity
Epilogue
Organizations and online resources
Glossary

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