Cover image for Alternative energy : facts, statistics, and issues
Alternative energy : facts, statistics, and issues
Berinstein, Paula.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, CT : Oryx Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xv, 208 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TJ808 .B467 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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Rising gas and utility prices, to say nothing of growing concerns about global warming, are fueling increased interest in alternative energy. Finding comprehensive information on this popular topic can be tough. Written for the layperson, this book is a one-stop source of information about alternative energy forms, in a world that needs it more than ever. Environmentally conscious individuals will find the most up-to-date information in this new annual summary. Important facts about companies and universities conducting research in alternative energy areas, government research subsidies, statistics on global use of alternative energy systems, and production of ethanol and hybrid fuels are included. Cost comparisons and a valuable appendix with sources for further study complete this encompassing energy reference.

This book features an overview of new techniques and advancements in the efficiency of various types of alternative energy sources such as:

- Biomass Energy

- Fusion Power

- Geothermal Energy

- Hybrid Systems

- Hydroelectric Power

- Hydrogen Fuel Cells

- Photo-voltaic Cells

- Solar Energy

- Wind

A current assessment of the state of conventional energy sources and fossil fuels, the depressed state of the nuclear power industry, and world energy costs are included in the introductory section.

Author Notes

PAULA BERINSTEIN is the author of several books, including Finding Statistics Online and Finding Images Online . She has run her own research company where she located statistics for clients; she has programmed computers and designed databases in the aerospace industry, and she has worked as a reference librarian in science and technology libraries and in news libraries. For more information, please visit the author's web site at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Covering the year 2000, chapters survey types of alternative energy--solar, ocean, fusion, and more--and other topics, such as storage and transportation of energy. Text is accompanied by numerous statistical tables, with data from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Library Journal Review

A former reference librarian and the author of The Statistical Handbook on Technology, Berinstein here applies her statistical expertise to an analysis of alternative energy. The opening history of energy use includes coverage of conventional energy (coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric) and a time line dating from 1767 through 2000. The next section includes a balanced discussion of the economics of renewable energy, with separate chapters covering the major alternatives: solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, biomass, wind, ocean and tidal, fusion, geothermal, and hydrogen. Each chapter includes an overview as well as treatment of equipment needs, economics, incentives, environmental considerations, and developments in the area. Throughout, Berinstein reiterates that not all alternative energy is harmless to the environment. The work contains 85 tables (mainly from the U.S. Department of Energy) that cover measures such as emissions, consumption, fuel costs, operating costs, and production, to name just a few. The layout is attractive, with pictures, diagrams, and numerous "At a Glance" information boxes complementing the text. While the statistical information may be a bit overwhelming to the lay reader for whom this book is intended, having so much data in one volume is very handy. Of interest to academic and public library patrons; researchers in industry libraries will find the numbers useful. Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This is a very useful reference work for anyone interested in the energy field. Berinstein is a research librarian who has amassed and then organized in a logical manner a great fund of information. Sixteen chapters offer an energy overview, material on conventional energy sources, and the economics of renewable energy; then follow chapters on various types of energy, including solar, biomass, wind, ocean, fusion, geothermal, and hydrogen. Other chapters discuss energy storage, transportation, fuel cells, energy efficiency, and exotic and unusual sources of energy. A special inclusion is a dated development insert in each chapter showing news items from 1999 and 2000. Berinstein's writing is clear, and she provides many charts and illustrations from a variety of sources, along with glossaries, bibliographies, and an index, all of which make finding detailed information a simple task. All levels. J. C. Comer emeritus, Northern Illinois University

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. vii
List of Figuresp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. xix
Part 1 Energy Overview
Chapter 1 Background and Contextp. 3
A Brief Energy Primerp. 3
Energy Historyp. 3
Energy Timelinep. 5
Overview of Alternative Energyp. 8
The Electric Power Industryp. 11
Restructuringp. 13
Power Plant Technology and Operationp. 15
Environmental Considerationsp. 16
Environmental Legislation and Regulationp. 17
Chapter 2 Conventional Energyp. 18
Coalp. 18
Oilp. 20
Natural Gasp. 22
Nuclearp. 25
Hydroelectricp. 27
Part 2 Alternative Energy
Chapter 3 Economics of Renewable Energyp. 31
Backgroundp. 31
The Economics of Renewablesp. 34
General Developments in Alternative and Renewable Energy 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 44
General Developments in Alternative and Renewable Energy 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 44
Statisticsp. 49
Chapter 4 Solar Energyp. 64
Solar Energy at a Glancep. 64
Solar Photovoltaicp. 65
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 70
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 70
Statisticsp. 76
Solar Thermalp. 81
Chapter 5 Biomass Energyp. 86
Biomass Energy at a Glancep. 86
Overviewp. 86
Types of Biomassp. 87
Equipment and Processesp. 87
Environmental Considerationsp. 91
Economicsp. 91
Legislation and Regulationp. 92
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 93
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 93
Statisticsp. 96
Chapter 6 Wind Energyp. 99
Wind Energy at a Glancep. 99
Overviewp. 99
Equipmentp. 100
Environmental Considerationsp. 101
Researchp. 101
Economicsp. 104
Other Wind Energy Developmentsp. 105
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 105
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 105
Statisticsp. 111
Chapter 7 Ocean Energyp. 113
Overviewp. 113
Ocean Thermalp. 113
Tidal Powerp. 113
Wave Powerp. 115
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 115
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 116
Chapter 8 Fusion Energyp. 118
Overviewp. 118
Researchp. 118
Fusion Methodsp. 120
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 122
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 123
Statisticsp. 125
Chapter 9 Geothermal Energyp. 126
Geothermal Energy at a Glancep. 126
Overviewp. 126
Types of Geothermal Resourcesp. 127
Direct Use Applicationsp. 128
Equipment and Processesp. 130
Environmental Considerationsp. 131
Economicsp. 133
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 139
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 139
Chapter 10 Hydrogen Energyp. 141
Overviewp. 141
Hydrogen Productionp. 142
Environmental Considerationsp. 143
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 143
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 143
Part 3 Other Energy Issues
Chapter 11 Energy Storagep. 147
Overviewp. 147
Pumped Hydropower and Compressed Air Storagep. 147
Flywheelsp. 147
Superconducting Magnetsp. 148
Supercapacitors and Ultracapacitorsp. 148
Batteriesp. 148
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 149
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 149
Statisticsp. 151
Chapter 12 Transportationp. 152
Overviewp. 152
Alternative Transportation Technologiesp. 152
Alternative Fuelsp. 154
Environmental Considerationsp. 157
Incentives, Mandates, and Regulationsp. 157
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 158
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 158
Statisticsp. 167
Chapter 13 Fuel Cellsp. 172
Overviewp. 172
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 174
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 174
Chapter 14 Energy Efficiency, Buildings, Lighting, and Appliancesp. 177
Energy Efficiencyp. 177
Buildingsp. 179
Lightingp. 183
Appliancesp. 185
Developments 1999 and 2000--Summaryp. 189
Developments 1999 and 2000--Detailp. 189
Chapter 15 Exotic and Unusual Sources of Energyp. 191
Overviewp. 191
Space Solar Powerp. 192
Conclusionp. 193
Glossaryp. 195
Bibliographyp. 197
Indexp. 199