The reasons for this apparent paradox are varied, and this book provides a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the practical applications of photovoltaics (PV) in modern electricity systems. While the conventional life-cycle assessment (LCA) boundaries as prescribed by the IEA-PVPS provide a consistent methodology for comparing evolving PV technologies, the narrow boundaries exclude many critical downstream energy costs. Similarly, simple cost comparisons of PV versus conventional power sources overlook the significant economic and energy costs of intermittency and grid integration. Yet distributed storage, which could provide potentially valuable network support, is frequently given a low priority by advocates of solar.
Treating PV as an extension of, rather than as a substitute for, the fossil fuel enterprise enables a more productive discussion of PV’s potential role in electricity generation. The sunburnt country of Australia, which has a modern electricity system, is an ideal case study for exploring the potential of solar PV. With a focus on rooftop solar, energy storage, grid integration, and electricity system issues, Energy in Australia offers valuable insights into the practical challenges of solar power. Although many national economies are already confronting a downward trend in energy return on investment (EROI) of oil and gas from both conventional and unconventional sources, the large-scale deployment of low-emission energy sources that lie below a critical minimum EROI threshold may ultimately prove counter-productive.
The book begins with a survey of the basic properties of modern energy systems. It then offers detailed explanations of universal patterns of energy transitions, the peculiarities of changing energy use in the world's leading economies, and the coming shifts from fossil fuels to renewable conversions. Specific cases of these transitions are analyzed for eight of the world's leading energy consumers. The author closes with perspectives on the nature and pace of the coming energy transition to renewable conversions.
The journey through the book begins with some background theory on the physics and economics of energy. Major energy technologies (fossil, nuclear and renewable) are explored in-depth, explaining how they work and the costs involved. Finally, the journey ends by exploring the technical and economic feasibility of supplying the world by 2050 with sustainable energy only.
Numerous examples are provided to allow the reader to relate important concepts to real-life. The reader’s understanding of the material can then be tested using the exercises at the end of each chapter.
This textbook is the first to thoroughly present the physics and the economics of energy. It is intended for graduate students and practitioners interested in the field of energy. It also enables the general reader to distinguish between political statement and fact.
The Power Makers ’ Challenge: and the need for Fission Energy looks at why using only conventional renewable energy sources is not quite as simple as it seems. Following a general introduction to electricity and its distribution, the author quantifies the reductions needed in greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector in the face of ever increasing world demands for electricity. It provides some much needed background on the many energy sources available for producing electricity and discusses their advantages and limitations to meet both the emission reduction challenge and electricity demand.
By analyzing the three main groups of energy sources: renewable energy, fossil fuels and fission energy (nuclear power), readers can assess the ability of each group to meet the challenge of both reducing emissions and maintaining reliable supply at least cost. It is written for both non-technical and technical readers.
This book offers options that meet the needs of people and communities for energy and engage them in identifying and planning their own provision. It describes updated renewable energy technologies and offers strategies and guidelines for the planning and implementation of sustainable energy supply for individuals and communities.
The book begins by defining energy and then giving examples, such as hoisting a weight, pushing a piston, or boiling a pail of water. Some of the common forms of energy are known as kinetic, thermal, chemical, electrical, radiant, sound, stored, potential, and nuclear. These forms are described and exemplified.
Concern is sometimes expressed that world energy is being "used up." This is a meaningless concern. Here we will evaluate and quantify the world's principal energy usage (food, heat, transportation, and industrial processes), and consider the energy sources which provide this usage. A sensible and economically viable plan is then proposed and described for meeting all our energy needs.
As we consider and examine various energy sources which mankind has available, we easily come to the most dramatic and most important source for a sensible energy policy: direct solar radiation. We would satisfy all U.S. energy requirements if we were able to capture and make use of one hundredth of 1% of all the solar energy intercepted by the earth. This is not a very difficulty thing to do. All we need is creative vision, governmental support, and the determination to become energy independent soon, and our sensible goals will be achieved completely and economically.
The latest scientific knowledge on climate change indicates that higher greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere through unchecked emissions will provoke severe climate change and ocean acidification. Both impacts can fundamentally alter environmental structures on which humanity relies and have serious consequences for the food chain among others. Climate change therefore poses major socio-economic, technical and environmental challenges which will have serious impacts on countries’ pathways towards sustainable development.
As a result, climate change and sustainable development have increasingly become interlinked. A changing climate makes achieving Millennium Development Goals more difficult and expensive, so there is every reason to achieve development goals with low greenhouse gas emissions. This leads to the following five challenges discussed by Challenges and Solutions for Climate Change:
1. To place climate negotiations in the wider context of sustainability, equity and social change so that development benefits can be maximised at the same time as decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
2. To select technologies or measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation based on countries’ sustainable development and climate goals.
3. To create low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient strategies and action plans in order to accelerate innovation needed for achieving sustainable development and climate goals on the scale and timescale required within countries.
4. To rationalize the current directions in international climate policy making in order to provide coherent and efficient support to developing countries in devising and implementing strategies and action plans for low emission technology transfers to deliver climate and sustainable development goals.
5. To facilitate development of an international framework for financial resources in order to support technology development and transfer, improve enabling environments for innovation, address equity issues such as poor people’s energy access, and make implementation of activities possible at the desired scale within the country.
The solutions presented in Challenges and Solutions for Climate Change show how ambitious measures can be undertaken which are fully in line with domestic interests, both in developing and in developed countries, and how these measures can be supported through the international mechanisms.