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Dr. Daniel B. Botkin objectively assesses the true prospects, limitations, costs, risks, dangers, and tradeoffs associated with every leading and emerging source of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, solar, ocean power, and biofuels. Next, Botkin addresses the energy distribution system, outlining how it currently works, identifying its inefficiencies, and reviewing options for improving it.
Finally, Botkin turns to solutions, offering a realistic, scientifically and economically viable path to a sustainable, energy-independent future: one that can improve the quality of life for Americans and for people around the world.
The Future of Fossil Fuels
What can we realistically expect from oil, gas, and coal?
Will Alternative Energy Sources Really Matter?
Running the numbers on solar, wind, biofuels, and other renewables
Must We All Wear Sweaters and Live in Caves?
The right role for efficiency--and why energy minimalism isn’t the solution
Where We Can Start--and What Will Happen if We Don’t
No magic bullet, but there are sensible, realistic solutions
About the Author xv
Introduction: Blackout 1
Section I: Conventional Energy Sources 15
Chapter 1 Oil 19
Chapter 2 Natural Gas 37
Chapter 3 Coal 51
Chapter 4 Water Power 73
Chapter 5 Nuclear Power 85
Section II: New Energy Sources 115
Chapter 6 Wind Power 119
Chapter 7 Solar Power 141
Chapter 8 Ocean Power 163
Chapter 9 Biofuels 173
Section III: Designing an Energy System 197
Chapter 10 Transporting Energy: the Grid, Hydrogen, Batteries, and More 199
Chapter 11 Transporting Things 211
Chapter 12 Saving Energy at Home and Finding Energy at Your Feet 227
Chapter 13 Solutions 245