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Energy is probably the defining topic of our age. Uncertainty over the long-term availability of some hydrocarbons and nuclear fuels are increasingly prompting volatility in energy prices on world markets. Meanwhile, no serious scientist doubts that the unabated atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide associated with traditional forms of energy use are (at very least) exacerbating natural variations in climate in undesirable ways. For either reason or both, few commentators of any stature argue that "do nothing" is a credible option in the world of energy management.
The technical challenges are legion; yet energy is just as much a socio-economic issue. Surprisingly, there are no authoritative books giving an overall introduction to energy for general readers, students, engineers, geographers or architects, offering adequate coverage of the scientific, engineering, environmental, social and economic dimensions in a single, reasonably-sized and easily-readable volume. The book proposed here seeks to fill that gap. All That Matters about energy. All That Matters books are a fast way to get right to the heart of key issues.
Paul L Younger FREng is Professor of Energy Engineering at the University of Glasgow, where he holds the Rankine Chair of Engineering. With a background in Earth Sciences and environmental engineering, Paul has some thirty years' experience in the water, mining and energy industries. In parallel with his university duties, he is Director of two pioneering companies in different spheres of the energy business: Cluff Geothermal (active in low carbon combined heat and power in Europe and Africa) and Five-Quarter (developing new responsible interim use strategies for fossil fuels while we await the advent of baseload and despatchable renewable technologies of high capacity). He is also a Trustee and Chair of the Global Scientific Committee of the Planet Earth Institute, an international NGO which is working for the 'scientific independence' of Africa through multi-country partnership research and education projects. Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering – the top professional honour for engineers in the UK.