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Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options [Hardcover]

Jefferson W Tester , Elisabeth M Drake , Michael J Driscoll , Michael W Golay , William A Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

12 July 2005
Human survival depends on a continuing energy supply, but the need for ever-increasing amounts of energy poses a dilemma: How can we provide the benefits of energy to the population of the globe without damaging the environment, negatively affecting social stability, or threatening the well-being of future generations? The solution will lie in finding sustainable energy sources and more efficient means of converting and utilizing energy. This textbook is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students as well as others who have an interest in exploring energy resource options and technologies with a view toward achieving sustainability. It clearly presents the trade-offs and uncertainties inherent in evaluating and choosing different energy options and provides a framework for assessing policy solutions.Sustainable Energy includes illustrative examples, problems, references for further reading, and links to relevant Web sites. Outside the classroom, the book is a resource for government, industry, and nonprofit organizations. The first six chapters provide the tools for making informed energy choices. They examine the broader aspects of energy use, including resource estimation, environmental effects, and economic evaluations. Chapters 7-15 review the main energy sources of today and tomorrow, including fossil fuels, nuclear power, biomass, geothermal energy, hydropower, wind energy, and solar energy, examining their technologies, environmental impacts, and economics. The remaining chapters treat energy storage, transmission, and distribution; the electric power sector; transportation; industrial energy usage; commercial and residential buildings; and synergistic complex systems. Sustainable Energy addresses the challenges of integrating diverse factors and the importance for future generations of the energy choices we make today.

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Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options + Energy Systems and Sustainability: Power for a Sustainable Future + Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 872 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (12 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262201534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262201537
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,114,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"For some time I have searched for a comprehensive text on sustainable energy, and I have found it here. This book by Jefferson Tester and his colleagues will be the field's benchmark in the future. It is wonderfully broad in scope, yet detailed in its presentation of the material."--Fred K. Browand, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California "At last, sustainable energy can be taught from a single textbook one that is balanced, worldly, comprehensive, and challenging. Watch out, teachers! Science and engineering students are going to demand courses that use this book." Robert Socolow, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University " Sustainable Energy provides the intellectual tools and perspectives needed to devise a sound strategy for ensuring sustainability." Jack Gibbons, former Presidential Science Advisor and former Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy "This book with its references and links is an excellent source text for anyone considering a course on energy options for the future and for anyone else interested in understanding the science and argument which underlie the debate on energy options for a sustainable future." R. John Sandeman International Journal of Environmental Studies "At last, sustainable energy can be taught from a single textbook -- one that is balanced, worldly, comprehensive, and challenging. Watch out, teachers! Science and engineering students are going to demand courses that use this book."--Robert Socolow, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University

About the Author

Jefferson W. Tester is Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems at Cornell University. Elisabeth M. Drake is Emeritus Researcher at the MIT Energy Initiative. Michael J. Driscoll is Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. Michael W. Golay is Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. William A. Peters is Executive Director of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The reference ! 29 Jan 2009
The only "one-single volume" book on energy : key issues, detailled analysis of every energy sources, focus on the industry value chain and systemic analysis for sustainability evaluation.

This book is the bible for the "sustainable energy" class at the MIT and it's been written by the various teachers of this class.

I would not recommend this book for the entry level on the topics (unless you have a wide exposure to the industry, energy sources and physics (including equations ...) but it is the perfect reference in the field.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written but somewhat dated 5 Oct 2008
By Jesse Rorabaugh - Published on Amazon.com
This was a well written text book that gives an introduction to a great number of important fields. It does a particularly good job giving a fair treatment to some options that are often overlooked in books on sustainable energy such as geothermal and nuclear energy. It also gives a good background in the economics of electricity and liquid fuels.

It is however already quite dated. The book was published right before the price of oil started to soar, and completely didn't see it coming. Many statements support the idea that oil will be cheap for many decades to come. They certainly were not alone in not seeing this coming, but it is sometimes hard to take them seriously on other subjects when they keep referring back to the low price of oil.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful reference, if a bit dated 3 Mar 2010
By Samantha - Published on Amazon.com
I've been working in the energy field for the past few years, and this is one of the few references I've found that describes all of our energy options with real depth. Information is well organized and systematically laid out. The book is, as others have pointed out, unfortunately already outdated.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really useful book 19 Oct 2010
By energy - Published on Amazon.com
If you're a beginner or someone with more experience, this is the "one book" to purchase in the area of energy and sustainability. Useful, practical content at a level that allows you to refresh or build on your knowledge in the area.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book; not necessarily great for students entering the field 11 May 2014
By Nicholas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a student with little to no experience in the field, some topics and language can be overwhelming. As an electrical engineer, I have some background into the technologies presented. However, some concepts are either presented lightly or ambiguously. The later chapters cover some technologies in-depth and present their uses and future well. However, the intro chapters present a steep learning curve for the reader.

Would recommend as a reference.
4.0 out of 5 stars An OK Reference 11 April 2014
By Jessica - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was one I was required to buy for a class, and it was overall an interesting book, with a large repertoire of information. There are only two problems I want to highlight. One, the book was very wordy and somewhat informal. This might be better for some people but it was not something I liked. I felt I could have been told the information much more succinctly. Two, the questions at the end of the book (which are presumably used for homework, as they were in my case) were horrible. To answer the questions it takes many external resources as the book does not delve deeply enough into its own themes. There were also a few typos in the book, but I have yet to encounter a textbook that does *not* have typos.
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