The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy: Achieving Energy Independence Through Solar, Wind, Biomass and HydropowerThe coming energy crisis caused by a peak in global oil and natural gas production will profoundly affect the lives of all North Americans. As the price of these vital fuels rises, homeowners will scramble to cut their fuel bills. Two options for meeting the upcoming challenge are dramatic improvements in home energy efficiency and efforts to tap into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources to heat and cool homes, to provide hot water and electricity, and even to cook. These measures can result in huge savings and a level of energy independence. "The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy" tells ...
In the late 1990s, the formerly staid and monopolistic electric utility industry entered an era of freewheeling competition and deregulation, allowing American consumers to buy electricity from any company offering it. In this book, Richard F. Hirsh explains how and why this radical restructuring has occurred. Hirsh starts by describing the successful campaign waged by utility managers in the first decade of the twentieth century to protect their industry from competition. The regulated system that emerged had the unanticipated consequence of endowing utility managers with great political and economic power. Seven decades later, a series of largely unanticipated events, including technological stagnation in traditional generating equipment, the 1973 energy crisis, and the rise of the environmental movement, undermined the managers' control of the system. New players, such as academics, environmental advocates, politicians, and potential competitors, wrested control from power company managers by challenging utilities' standing as "natural monopolies" and by questioning whether their firms provided universal benefits. In other words, the once-closed system came under increasing pressure to transform itself. Hirsh follows the flow of power as this transformation occurred. He also examines the relationship between technological change and regulation, showing how innovations such as cogeneration and renewable energy technologies stimulated questions about the value of government oversight of the system. And he shows how the increasing prominence of ideas such as conservation, energy efficiency, and free markets helped propel the system toward open competition. Though the new electric utility system is still in its infancy, Hirsh's perceptive account of its birth will help readers think more rationally about its future.
The time for modern biomass has come. It has long been overshadowed by other, more widely publicized renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar and hydro, and still retains an outmoded image in comparison to its apparently more attractive cousins.The potential for biomass to act as a store of solar energy, and yet to be converted efficiently when required into heat, power, transport fuels and even substitutes for plastics and petrochemicals, is not widely appreciated. The increasing abundance of well-designed, successful bioenergy projects around the world is creating new interest in this renewable, sustainable and low-emission-producing source of energy.The Brilliance of Bioenergy covers all the main resources and technologies, principles, practice, social and environmental issues as well as the economics involved. The book also presents valuable, practical experiences -- both 'how to' and 'how not to' -- in the form of case studies of both small and large-scale projects in both developed and developing countries.The Brilliance of Bioenergy is for those wishing to learn more about biomass, the technologies and the business potential. It will be welcomed by all involved in biomass production, bioenergy utilization, planning and development, and in renewable energies in general, as well as students, academics and researchers in the subject.