Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air

Sustainable Energy – Energy for the future

Sustainable energy is one of the hottest topics around at the moment and governments around the world are all trying to balance their CO2 emissions, their energy demands and of course their financial budgets.  This is a very serious scenario, after all we have been told for about the last 30-40 years that fossil fuels are about to run, CO2 levels are rising year on year and energy demand, especially from the developing industrial powers is rising at an alarming rate.

We are told at certain times that different forms of sustainable energy is going to be the “way forward” and then an other report states that a different approach is better.  Of the different forms of renewable energy wind and nuclear seem to attract the most debate.

Recommended reading: Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air

I was looking for a book that gave me a clear, well balanced and thought-provoking outlook on the state of the renewable & sustainable energy situation.

It contains many interesting subjects, including:

  • Food
  • Transport
  • Sustainable energy production
  • Social impacts
  • Energy plans and scenarios

What I especially liked about this book was

What makes this a really great resource is that it is written in suitable scientific depth, but in a slightly chatty way and presented in a case-study form.  So there is enough technical information to keep a well informed reader interested, with thought-provoking discussion and ideas, and yet there is enough starter material to allow those starting on the learning curve also.

Book Description and overview

  • Addressing the sustainable energy crisis in an objective manner, this enlightening book analyzes the relevant numbers and organizes a plan for change on both a personal level and an international scale–for Europe, the Untied States, and the world.
  • In case study format, this informative reference answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the potential of sustainable fossil fuels, and the possibilities of sharing renewable power with foreign countries.
  • While underlining the difficulty of minimizing consumption, the tone remains positive as it debunks misinformation and clearly explains the calculations of expenditure per person to encourage people to make individual changes that will benefit the world at large.

Reviews from the press

“This book is a tour de force…as a work of popular science it is exemplary.” –The Economist

“This is to energy and climate what Freakonomics is to economics.” –Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net

“This year’s must-read book about tackling our future energy needs.” –The Guardian

“…A high priority book on a high priority problem.” –William W Hogan, Harvard University

“For anyone with influence on energy policy, whether in government, business or a campaign group, this book should be compulsory reading.”
–Tony Juniper-Former Executive Director, Friends of the Earth

About the Author

David MacKay is a professor in the department of physics at Cambridge University, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change, and a regular lecturer on sustainable energy.

What others are saving about Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air

“It’s rare to find a book that is so full of good, scientific facts and well-researched figures, and yet is so enjoyable to read.”

“He also reviews the UK’s sustainable energy options, and comes to the rather depressing conclusion that we use about ten times our plausible local resources. Nonetheless, he proposes a menu of sensible policies which could actually work, and are not the result of some industry pushing its own interests. This is an excellent and unique book full of data, analysis, insight and wit; buy it, read it, make sure your friends buy it too.”

“A book long overdue. Would that all books on controversial issues were so straightforwardly non-partisan! ”