Both the forthcoming depletion of oil reserves and the urgent need to arrest global warming caused by the combustion of fossil fuels necessitates new thinking from individuals and governments alike. This book will consider a global, long-term matrix of solutions to the energy problem as a necessary condition for a sustainable future existence on this planet. As the Earth's oil supply runs out, and the effects of climate change threaten nations and their populations, the search for carbon-neutral sources of energy becomes more important and increasingly urgent. This book focuses on solutions to the energy problem, and not just the problem itself. It describes the major energy-generation technologies currently under development, and provides an authoritative summary of the current status of each one. It stresses the need for a balanced portfolio of alternative energy technologies. Certain solutions will be more appropriate than others in particular locations, due to the differences in availability of natural resources such as solar, wind, wave, tidal and geothermal. In addition, nuclear options (both fission and fusion), as well as technologies such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, artificial photosynthesis and hydrogen (as an energy carrier), all have a potential role to play. A state-of-the-art critique of energy efficiency in building design is also included. Each chapter is written by an acknowledged international expert and provides a non-technical overview of the competing and complementary approaches to energy generation. Broad in scope and comprehensive in treatment, Energy..beyond Oil provides an authoritative synthesis of the scientific and technological issues which are essential to the survival of the human race in the near future. The book will be of interest and use to graduate students and researchers in all areas of energy studies, and will also be highly useful for policy-makers and professionals in the environmental sector as well as a more general readership who wish to learn more about this extremely topical subject.
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Keywords: oil supply, Earth, energy problem, energy-generation technologies