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Download Alternative Energy (Historical Guides to Controversial by Brian C. Black Ph.D., Richard Flarend PDF

By Brian C. Black Ph.D., Richard Flarend

As this e-book makes transparent, civilization can't lengthy proceed to experience on an oil slick. world wide, many of us have come to work out dependence on coal, and particularly on oil, not just as unsustainable, yet as profoundly destabilizing, either environmentally and politically. whereas ever-increasing calls for stay put on "mainstream" strength assets, habitual makes an attempt were made to generate strength in "alternative" methods. After retracing a few of these efforts, this succinct and traditionally proficient quantity explores the continued debate over replacement strength that accumulated power within the twentieth century, displaying how that discuss mirrors better attitudes towards strength and intake. Like different volumes during this sequence, replacement strength is designed to supply fabric for scholar experiences and debate arguments. it's a good sourcebook for these drawn to investigating the issues and customers of different fuels.

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Example text

During these years, other branches of industry stimulated comparable advances, and all these together, mutually reinforcing one another, made possible an entire era, grown, at least partly, on the back of technological gains. The age would be organized around the substitution of machines for human skill and effort. Heat made from inanimate objects took over for animals and 36 alternative energy human muscle. Furthermore, this shift enhanced the amount—the scale and scope—of the work that could be undertaken.

There is a total of 41,000 Quads of fossil-fuel resources in the world. At the current rate of consumption, these will be gone within 100 years. But when the growth in energy consumption, especially by the developing world, is considered, all of these fossil-fuel resources will be depleted in just 60 years. It is worth noting that even with the increased consumption by the developing world that has been assumed (EIA, 2007), the per-capita energy consumption of the developing world would still only be 30 percent of the per-capita energy consumption of the technologically developed world.

Energy production requires the use of natural resources, and this inherently leads to pollution. The amount of pollution is not the same for all energy sources, or even for the same energy source in different situations. For example, it is possible to burn coal with very low emissions of pollutants, or as is usually the case, with relatively high emissions. Even renewable energy sources like wind and solar require the production and installation of wind turbines or solar panels. The energy generated may be pollution-free, but the production and installation of the equipment requires an initial use of fossil fuels and thus causes some one-time emission of pollutants.

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