Synopses & Reviews
Get the truth about alternative energy and make it part of your life
Want to utilize cleaner, greener types of energy? This plain-English guide clearly explains the popular forms of alternative energy that you can use in your home, your car, and more. Separating myth from fact, this resource explores the current fossil fuel conundrum, the benefits of alternatives, and the energy of the future, such as hydrogen and fuel cell technology.
- The ABCs of alternative energy what it is, how it works, and what the real costs are
Where we are now learn where our current energy comes from and how much longer it will last
Take the first step see how energy efficiency and conservation can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels
Grasp the alternatives from nuclear power to geothermal energy to wood burning, understand the benefits that alternative energy can have on the nation
Apply alternative fuels to transportation from biofuels to exotic propulsion to electricity, see how they are best used and how hybrid, all-electric, and fuel cellpowered vehicles work
Get a peek into the future see what the outlook holds for each form of alternative energy discussed
Open the book and find:
- The pros and cons of alternative energy
A review of the current world energy economy
The problems with fossil fuels, from smog to global warming
Advantages of alternative energy
Practical results of alternatives you can use in daily life
Guidelines for investing in alternative energy vehicles
Ten ways you can bring about change right now
Insight into the future of energy production and how you can invest in it
Alternative Energy For Dummiespresents readers with a multifaceted examination of various forms of alternative energy, including solar, wind, nuclear, biomass, geothermal, biofuel, and other sources. Each alternative scenario is compared to current fossil-fuel intensive practices in the scientific, environmental, social, political, and economic realms.
The myths and facts about alternative fuels–and how they impact our lives
As the price of energy continues to soar, so too has the demand for alternative energy. But there's no clear “winner” in the race to replace fossil fuels. Alternative Energy For Dummies explores the current fossil fuel conundrum and society's growing need for more and more energy. Cutting through the competing claims, this book offers a multifaceted examination of alternative energy, including solar, wind, nuclear, biomass, geothermal, biofuel, and other sources. Each alternative scenario is compared to current fossil-fuel intensive practices in the scientific, environmental, social, political, and economic realms. Readers also gain insight into the future of energy production.
Rik DeGunther (Rescue, CA) holds a bachelor's degree in engineering physics and a dual master's degree in applied physics and engineering economic systems. He is a design engineer and the founder of Efficient Homes, an energy auditing and consulting firm. DeGunther is also the author of Solar Power Your Home For Dummies (978-0-470-17569-9) and Energy Efficient Homes For Dummies (978-0-470-37602-7).
About the Author
attended the University of Illinois as an undergraduate and Stanford University as a graduate student, studying both applied physics and engineering economics (some of this education actually stuck). He holds several United States patents and has designed a wide range of technical equipment including solar energy platforms, military-grade radar jammers, weather-measurement equipment, high-powered radar vacuum tubes, computerized production hardware, golf practice devices, digital and analog electronic circuits, unmanned aerial vehicles, guitars and amplifi ers, microwave fi lters and mixers, automatic cabinet openers, strobe light communications systems, explosive devices (strictly on accident), cloud-height sensors, fog sensors, furniture, houses, barns, rocket ships, dart throwers, fl ame throwers, eavesdropping devices, escape routes, and you name it. He’s one of those nerdy guys who likes to take things apart to see how they work and then put them back together and try to fi gure out what the leftover parts are for.
Rik is CEO of Effi cient Homes, an energy-effi ciency auditing fi rm in Northern California. He is actively engaged in designing and developing new solar equipment, including off-grid lighting systems and off-grid swimming pool heaters. He writes weekly op-ed columns for the Mountain Democrat, California’s oldest and most venerable newspaper. He has also written a highly acclaimed golf book (on putting) and spends most of his free time attempting to improve his relatively impressive but objectively droll golf handicap, usually to no avail. Sometimes the urge strikes him to play a very loud guitar, of which he owns a collection with far more intrinsic quality than the playing they receive. His hearing has been faltering the last few years, so he rebuilt his amplifi er to go up to 11.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Basic Facts of Energy Life.
Chapter 1: What a Mess!
Chapter 2: What Energy Is and How It’s Used (Politically and Practically).
Chapter 3: Putting Together Each Piece of the Energy Puzzle.
Part II: Digging Deeper into the Current State of Affairs.
Chapter 4: Developing a Snapshot of Fossil Fuel Use and Availability.
Chapter 5: Burning Up with Conventional Energy Sources.
Chapter 6: The First Alternative-Energy Sources: Effi ciency and Conservation.
Chapter 7: Understanding the Demand For Alternatives.
Part III: Alternatives — Buildings.
Chapter 8: Going Nuclear.
Chapter 9: Harnessing the Sun with Solar Power.
Chapter 10: Treading Water with Hydropower.
Chapter 11: Blowing Away with Wind Power.
Chapter 12: Digging into Geothermal.
Chapter 13: Exploring Biomass.
Chapter 14: Burning Wood.
Chapter 15: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies.
Part IV: Alternatives — Transportation.
Chapter 16: Alternative Transport Technologies.
Chapter 17: Alternative-Fuel Vehicles.
Chapter 18: Plugging In: Electric Vehicles.
Chapter 19: Hybrid-Electric Vehicles.
Chapter 20: Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles.
Chapter 21: Exotic Propulsion Systems.
Part V: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 22: Ten or So Myths about Energy.
Chapter 23: Ten-Plus Ways to Invest in an Alternative-Energy Future.