Dirty Energy Dilemma: What's Blocking Clean Power in the United States available in Hardcover
The American electric utility system is quietly falling apart. Once taken for granted, the industry has become increasingly unstable, fragmented, unreliable, insecure, inefficient, expensive, and harmful to our environment and public health. According to Sovacool, the fix for this ugly array of problems lies not in nuclear power or clean coal, but in renewable energy systems that produce few harmful byproducts, relieve congestion on the transmission grid, require less maintenance, are not subject to price volatility, and enhance the security of the national energy system from natural catastrophe, terrorist attack, and dependence on supply from hostile and unstable regions of the world. Here arises The Dirty Energy Dilemma: If renewable energy systems deliver such impressive benefits, why are they languishing at the margins of the American energy portfolio? And why does the United States lag so far behind Europe, where conversion to renewable energy systems has already taken off in a big way?
Corporate media parrot industry PR that renewable technologies just aren't ready for prime time. But Sovacool marshals extensive field research to show that the only barrier blocking the conversion of a significant proportion of the U.S. energy portfolio to renewables is not technologicalthe technology is therebut institutional. Public utility commissioners, utility managers, system operators, business owners, and ordinary consumers are hobbled by organizational conservatism, technical incompatibility, legal inertia, weak and inconsistent political incentives, ill-founded prejudices, and apathy. The author argues that significant conversion to technologically proven clean energy systems can happen only if we adopt and implement a whole new set of policies that will target and dismantle the insidious social barriers that are presently blocking decisions that would so obviously benefit society.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)|
About the Author
Benjamin K. Sovacool is Research Fellow in the Energy Governance Program at the Centre on Asia and Globalization in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Government and International Affairs Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He investigated the social impediments to renewable energy systems for the NSF Electric Power Networks Efficiency and Security Program. He has worked in advisory and research capacities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Climate Change Technology Program. He is the co-editor with Marilyn A. Brown of Energy and American Society: Thirteen Myths (2007) and a frequent contributor to such journals as Electricity Journal, Energy Policy, Stanford Environmental Law Journal, and Daedalus.
Table of Contents
Chapter OneThe Big Four Energy Challenges
Chapter TwoThe Big Four Clean Solutions
Chapter ThreeFinancial and Market Impediments
Chapter FourPolitical and Regulatory Obstacles
Chapter FiveCultural and Behavioral Barriers
Chapter SixAesthetic and Environmental Challenges
Chapter SevenThe Big Four Policy Mechanisms
What People are Saying About This
"The Dirty Energy Dilemma offers a new insight into America's energy issues. Sovacool takes us past the oft-visited and necessary, but insufficient, questions of hardware and finance and into new terrain. By viewing the electric utility industry as a set of human interests and perceptions, Sovacool adds a vital element: cultural analysis. With a blend of sensitivity and bluntness, recognizing that we have met the enemy and they are us, Sovacool outlines the perceptionsthe paradigmsthat have tied our minds to old and dirty energy choices. Shining a light on the ways that we have limited our thinking, he opens the chance for us, together, to go beyond our past and into a future that we consciously make far, far, better. We allas analysts, as technologists, as economists, or as humansowe Sovacool a thanks for showing us the limits of our thoughts, so we can transcend them in our future."
"In this timely work, Benjamin Sovacool explains both the alternative energy possibilities now available and the political, economic, and social impediments that the United States must overcome to create a clean energy society."
"This is a bold, provocative, and brilliant work that examines why wind, solar, and other clean power technologies have not penetrated the American electricity market, but it also provides a much-needed blueprint for how they could."
"This is a book the president and his staff should read. They should give copies to every member of the House and Senate if they're to intelligently vote on energy policy. Insightful, clear, and forceful, Sovacool explains how America's renewable energy policy has been hijacked for 30 years and what we need to do to reclaim it for a safer, cleaner, and more secure country."
"An extensively researched, highly accessible, authoritative explanation of the challenges facing the American electric utility sector. The Dirty Energy Dilemma will stimulate debate about its content, and offers inspiration for those who seek to promote more progressive energy policy."
"The U.S. wastes more energy from the inefficient production of electricity each year than Japan harnesses for its entire economy. This is just one of the many remarkable revelations in this volume. New energy policies are a global priority. The world desperately needs thinking in this area. This brilliant volume by Benjamin Sovacool will provide new insights and stimulate new debates. Its appearance could not be timelier. It should be read carefully by all, from academics to policymakers, from businessmen to journalists."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is very well-written and informative. It provides the reader with a lot of information on a topic that not many people are informed on. It is not an easy read for the general public. The middle of the book may become long if the reader is not interested in the topic. I would recommend this book, because it is unbiased and provides a lot of information.
The Dirty Energy Dilemma is a book that opens a readers eyes to the necessity of implementing clean power technologies into our nation. This book discusses what technologies will work to ease the energy crisis America is facing. An aspect of the book that I really liked is how Benjamin K. Sovacool looked at every possible obstacle that clean power technologies are facing and what needs to be done to overcome these obstacles. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to be informed about our current energy situation in the United States. It was written very well and provided facts and statistics that make you go "wow". After reading this book, you feel the sense of urgency that every American should be facing about our energy crisis.