By Topic

Cool Energy:Renewable Solutions to Environmental Problems

Cover Image Copyright Year: 1992
Author(s): Michael Brower
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Power, Energy, & Industry Applications
  • Print

Abstract

Ten years ago, America's brief love affair with renewable energy sources came to an abrupt end, the victim of declining oil prices and government indifference. But renewable energy remains the only viable long-term alternative to depletable and polluting oil, gas, and coal. Cool Energy provides the first major review of progress in the field of renewable energy technologies - solar, wind, biomass (plant matter), hydroelectric, and geothermal - since the mid-1980s. It analyzes their near-term and long-term potential to displace fossil fuels, and illuminates the role they could play in mitigating environmental problems such as air pollution, acid rain, and global warming.Energy-policy specialist Michael Brower argues that, with the right policies, renewable energy could provide as much as half of America's energy needs within forty years. He identifies the market barriers that will have to be removed and argues that if the hidden costs of fossil fuels are taken into consideration, renewables appear to be a cheaper source of new energy supply than fossil fuels: the reliability and efficiency of their equipment have improved and the cost of installing, maintaining, and running renewable systems has declined.Brower devotes a chapter to each renewable energy source, describes its current application, and discusses its costs. He also analyzes new technologies under development and assesses their positive and negative attributes. Introductory chapters set renewables in the context of current energy and environmental policy, and the last chapter outlines steps that can help speed the transition to a renewable-energy economy.Michael Brower is a physicist and holds the position of Research Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

  •   Click to expandTable of Contents

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Front Matter

      Page(s): i - 3
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Title, Copyright, Contents, Acknowledgments, Half-Title, Introduction View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      The Energy Challenge

      Page(s): 5 - 20
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Greenhouse Connection, Energy Choices, Note View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      The Renewable Alternative

      Page(s): 21 - 38
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: A Decade of Progress, The Market for Renewable Energy, Valuing the Future, The Potential of Renewable Energy, Notes View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Solar Energy

      Page(s): 39 - 69
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Solar Resource, Solar Buildings, Solar-Thermal Concentrating Systems, Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues, Notes View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Wind Energy

      Page(s): 71 - 85
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Wind Resource, Wind Technology, Environmental and Siting Issues, Notes View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Biomass

      Page(s): 87 - 110
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Biomass Resource, Direct Combustion, Thermochemical Conversion: Methanol and Syngas, Biochemical Conversion: Biogas and Ethanol, Environmental Issues, Notes View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Energy from Rivers and Oceans

      Page(s): 111 - 126
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Hydropower, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, Tidal Power, Wave Power, Notes View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Geothermal Energy

      Page(s): 127 - 154
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Geothermal Resource, Hydrothermal Fluids, Geopressured Brines, Hot Dry Rock, Magma, Environmental and Siting Issues, Notes View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Energy Storage

      Page(s): 155 - 172
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Thermal Energy Storage, Electricity Storage, Hydrogen, Note View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Policies for a Renewable Future

      Page(s): 173 - 185
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: A Failure of Vision, A Way Out?, Taxes, Financial Incentives, Regulation, Education, Information, and Technical Assistance, Research and Development, Environmental Regulation and Monitoring, Conclusions, Note View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix A: Units and Conversion Factors

      Page(s): 187 - 189
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Ten years ago, America's brief love affair with renewable energy sources came to an abrupt end, the victim of declining oil prices and government indifference. But renewable energy remains the only viable long-term alternative to depletable and polluting oil, gas, and coal. Cool Energy provides the first major review of progress in the field of renewable energy technologies - solar, wind, biomass (plant matter), hydroelectric, and geothermal - since the mid-1980s. It analyzes their near-term and long-term potential to displace fossil fuels, and illuminates the role they could play in mitigating environmental problems such as air pollution, acid rain, and global warming.Energy-policy specialist Michael Brower argues that, with the right policies, renewable energy could provide as much as half of America's energy needs within forty years. He identifies the market barriers that will have to be removed and argues that if the hidden costs of fossil fuels are taken into consideration, renewables appear to be a cheaper source of new energy supply than fossil fuels: the reliability and efficiency of their equipment have improved and the cost of installing, maintaining, and running renewable systems has declined.Brower devotes a chapter to each renewable energy source, describes its current application, and discusses its costs. He also analyzes new technologies under development and assesses their positive and negative attributes. Introductory chapters set renewables in the context of current energy and environmental policy, and the last chapter outlines steps that can help speed the transition to a renewable-energy economy.Michael Brower is a physicist and holds the position of Research Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix B: U.S. Renewable Energy Funding

      Page(s): 190 - 191
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Ten years ago, America's brief love affair with renewable energy sources came to an abrupt end, the victim of declining oil prices and government indifference. But renewable energy remains the only viable long-term alternative to depletable and polluting oil, gas, and coal. Cool Energy provides the first major review of progress in the field of renewable energy technologies - solar, wind, biomass (plant matter), hydroelectric, and geothermal - since the mid-1980s. It analyzes their near-term and long-term potential to displace fossil fuels, and illuminates the role they could play in mitigating environmental problems such as air pollution, acid rain, and global warming.Energy-policy specialist Michael Brower argues that, with the right policies, renewable energy could provide as much as half of America's energy needs within forty years. He identifies the market barriers that will have to be removed and argues that if the hidden costs of fossil fuels are taken into consideration, renewables appear to be a cheaper source of new energy supply than fossil fuels: the reliability and efficiency of their equipment have improved and the cost of installing, maintaining, and running renewable systems has declined.Brower devotes a chapter to each renewable energy source, describes its current application, and discusses its costs. He also analyzes new technologies under development and assesses their positive and negative attributes. Introductory chapters set renewables in the context of current energy and environmental policy, and the last chapter outlines steps that can help speed the transition to a renewable-energy economy.Michael Brower is a physicist and holds the position of Research Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Suggested Readings

      Page(s): 193 - 195
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Ten years ago, America's brief love affair with renewable energy sources came to an abrupt end, the victim of declining oil prices and government indifference. But renewable energy remains the only viable long-term alternative to depletable and polluting oil, gas, and coal. Cool Energy provides the first major review of progress in the field of renewable energy technologies - solar, wind, biomass (plant matter), hydroelectric, and geothermal - since the mid-1980s. It analyzes their near-term and long-term potential to displace fossil fuels, and illuminates the role they could play in mitigating environmental problems such as air pollution, acid rain, and global warming.Energy-policy specialist Michael Brower argues that, with the right policies, renewable energy could provide as much as half of America's energy needs within forty years. He identifies the market barriers that will have to be removed and argues that if the hidden costs of fossil fuels are taken into consideration, renewables appear to be a cheaper source of new energy supply than fossil fuels: the reliability and efficiency of their equipment have improved and the cost of installing, maintaining, and running renewable systems has declined.Brower devotes a chapter to each renewable energy source, describes its current application, and discusses its costs. He also analyzes new technologies under development and assesses their positive and negative attributes. Introductory chapters set renewables in the context of current energy and environmental policy, and the last chapter outlines steps that can help speed the transition to a renewable-energy economy.Michael Brower is a physicist and holds the position of Research Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      References

      Page(s): 197 - 215
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Ten years ago, America's brief love affair with renewable energy sources came to an abrupt end, the victim of declining oil prices and government indifference. But renewable energy remains the only viable long-term alternative to depletable and polluting oil, gas, and coal. Cool Energy provides the first major review of progress in the field of renewable energy technologies - solar, wind, biomass (plant matter), hydroelectric, and geothermal - since the mid-1980s. It analyzes their near-term and long-term potential to displace fossil fuels, and illuminates the role they could play in mitigating environmental problems such as air pollution, acid rain, and global warming.Energy-policy specialist Michael Brower argues that, with the right policies, renewable energy could provide as much as half of America's energy needs within forty years. He identifies the market barriers that will have to be removed and argues that if the hidden costs of fossil fuels are taken into consideration, renewables appear to be a cheaper source of new energy supply than fossil fuels: the reliability and efficiency of their equipment have improved and the cost of installing, maintaining, and running renewable systems has declined.Brower devotes a chapter to each renewable energy source, describes its current application, and discusses its costs. He also analyzes new technologies under development and assesses their positive and negative attributes. Introductory chapters set renewables in the context of current energy and environmental policy, and the last chapter outlines steps that can help speed the transition to a renewable-energy economy.Michael Brower is a physicist and holds the position of Research Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Page(s): 217 - 219
      Copyright Year: 1992

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Ten years ago, America's brief love affair with renewable energy sources came to an abrupt end, the victim of declining oil prices and government indifference. But renewable energy remains the only viable long-term alternative to depletable and polluting oil, gas, and coal. Cool Energy provides the first major review of progress in the field of renewable energy technologies - solar, wind, biomass (plant matter), hydroelectric, and geothermal - since the mid-1980s. It analyzes their near-term and long-term potential to displace fossil fuels, and illuminates the role they could play in mitigating environmental problems such as air pollution, acid rain, and global warming.Energy-policy specialist Michael Brower argues that, with the right policies, renewable energy could provide as much as half of America's energy needs within forty years. He identifies the market barriers that will have to be removed and argues that if the hidden costs of fossil fuels are taken into consideration, renewables appear to be a cheaper source of new energy supply than fossil fuels: the reliability and efficiency of their equipment have improved and the cost of installing, maintaining, and running renewable systems has declined.Brower devotes a chapter to each renewable energy source, describes its current application, and discusses its costs. He also analyzes new technologies under development and assesses their positive and negative attributes. Introductory chapters set renewables in the context of current energy and environmental policy, and the last chapter outlines steps that can help speed the transition to a renewable-energy economy.Michael Brower is a physicist and holds the position of Research Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists. View full abstract»