Diminishing fossil fuels and global warming are enough to make anyone think twice about flicking a light switch or turning up the thermostat. But there are a lot of popular myths masquerading as facts concerning energy use, and the more we learn about energy consumption, the more questions arise. Can solar energy provide the entire world’s electricity? Should we stop building nuclear power plants after Fukushima? Why don’t we use wave power? And how can we face the rising costs of heating and lighting our homes and businesses?
These questions and many more are answered in this accessible guide for anyone who is concerned about the most cost effective and environmentally responsible use of energy at all levels, from home baking to nuclear power plants. Energy Survival Guide serves as a reliable and systematic overview, offering well-balanced conclusions about the future of energy on our planet. With arguments backed up by informative figures and hard facts, this book deals with subjects as diverse as solar panels, the benefits of double glazed windows, the most efficient way to travel quickly, and the problems with electric cars.
Useful Reference Data
Part 1: Insight
1. Energy: A Truly Special Case
2. Energy: What Exactly Is It?
3. Human Energy
C. How Do I Keep My Temperature Constant?
4. Domestic Energy
A. Domestic Energy Supply
B. Home Heating and Cooling
C. Hot Water
D. Baking and Cooking
E. Electric Appliances at Home
F. Comparison of Various Energy Users
G. Energy Needed to Produce Something
5. Moving Around: Energy and Transportation
B. Buses and Trains
D. The Bicycle
6. Energy: National and World-wide
A. Differences Across the Globe
B. Energy Use in an Industrialised Country: the Netherlands
D. The World: Supply and Demand
7. CO2 and Global Warming
A. Natural Greenhouse Effect
B. Man-made Greenhouse Effect
Part 2: Outlook
8. Solar Energy
A. The Potential of Solar Energy
B. Capturing Solar Energy by Various Mechanisms
9. Wind Power
A. The Potential of Wind Power
B. Types of Wind Turbines and Their Efficiencies
C. Space Demand and Wind Farms
D. Contribution, Variability and the Cost of Wind Power
10. Energy from Water and from Soil
B. Wave Energy
C. Tidal Energy
D. Temperature Differences in the Oceans (OTEC)
E. Osmosis: Salt and Fresh Water ('Blue Energy')
F. Geothermal Energy
11. Nuclear Energy
C. Radioactivity and Health Hazards
D. Comparison of Various Ways to Generate Electricity
12. Energy Storage
A. Why Store Energy?
B. Various Kinds of Storage
Epilogue: How to proceed?
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Jo Hermans is professor emeritus of physics at Leiden University.