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Future Energy: Opportunities & Challenges

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Thomas W. Kerlin, University of Tennessee

Copyright Year: 2013

Publisher: The University of Tennessee Libraries

Language: English

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CC BY

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Reviewed by Natalie Martin, Instructor of Power Plant Technology, Flint Hills Technical College on 10/18/21

The text is a comprehensive overview of energy both from a historical perspective and a picture into the future. read more

Table of Contents

  • Part I. GETTING STARTED
    • Chapter 1 – Introduction to the Energy Story
    • Chapter 2 – Fundamentals
    • Chapter 3 – Energy Production and Consumption
  • Part II. ENERGY SOURCES
    • Chapter 4 – Fossil Fuels
    • Chapter 5 – Renewables
    • Chapter 6 – Solar Energy
    • Chapter 7 – Biofuels
    • Chapter 8 – Wind Energy
    • Chapter 9 – Hydroenergy
    • Chapter 10 – Geothermal Energy
    • Chapter 11 – Nuclear Energy
    • Chapter 12 – Hydrogen
    • Chapter 13 – Energy Transport
  • Part III: ENERGY DEMAND
    • Chapter 14 – Population and Energy Demand
    • Chapter 15 – Residential Energy Use
    • Chapter 16 – Commercial Energy Use
    • Chapter 17 – Industrial Energy Use
    • Chapter 18 – Transportation Energy Use
    • Chapter 19 – Energy and Climate Change
    • Chapter 20 – Energy Conservation and Efficiency
  • Part IV: CREATING SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
    • Chapter 21 – Energy, Economics, and Government
    • Chapter 22 – Summing Up

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  • About the Book

    How can we produce enough sustainable energy while avoiding unacceptable environmental consequences? To evaluate the various energy options, we must understand the science of each potential energy source and energy use technology. This book presents the science in an easy-to-understand way to enable readers to make informed decisions about what is possible and practical, and to choose lifestyle options to implement in their personal lives.

    America and the world face daunting questions about how we produce energy and how we use it. Conservation and improved energy efficiency can help reduce energy requirements, but cannot halt the steady increase in energy consumption. An increasing world population and increasing energy appetites in emerging economies will create competition for energy resources for all nations.

    The possibilities for future energy production include fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal, oil sands, and oil shale), biofuels, solar, wind, hydro-energy, geothermal, and nuclear (probably fission and possibly fusion). Each of these sources has relative advantages and disadvantages.

    The problem is to produce enough sustainable energy while avoiding unacceptable environmental consequences, especially climate change. In order to evaluate the potential of the various energy options, one must understand the basic science that underlies each potential energy source and energy use technology. This knowledge will enable us to determine what is possible and practical and, maybe more importantly, what is impossible or impractical.

    Fortunately most of the pertinent science is old, well established and, for the most part, quite simple. This science provides a framework into which one can insert real data and draw conclusions. Without such quantitative assessments, claims about capabilities of the various energy options must be viewed as unverified assumptions rather than hard facts. This book presents the essential science in an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive way.

    A big change in the ways that we produce and use energy is inevitable. Informed choices will help avoid waste, avoid unnecessary disruptions in our lives, and avoid undesirable environmental effects. The purpose of this book is to help the reader make informed decisions about which energy production technologies to support and which energy use technologies and lifestyle options to implement in his/her personal life.

    This book was originally published in 2013 by the International Society of Automation. Rights for this work have been reverted to the author by the original publisher. To report your interest or share that you have adopted Future Energy: Opportunities & Challenges, please complete this short form.

    To provide feedback or report errata, please complete this short form.

    About the Contributors

    Author

    Tom Kerlin retired as head of the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee in 1998, after serving on the faculty for 33 years. His professional interests include instrumentation, nuclear reactor simulation, and dynamic testing for model validation. He has published extensively on these topics.

    In addition to his university service, Dr. Kerlin founded a spin-off company, Analysis and Measurement Services Corp., to provide the nuclear industry with the testing capability that he invented for safety system sensors. Dr. Kerlin’s method has been used hundreds of times in nuclear power plants in the U.S. and around the world.

    Upon retiring, Dr. Kerlin studied the literature on energy production and use and concluded that there was a need for a comprehensive book on our future options that even non-specialists would understand. This book is the result.