Alternative Energy (Historical Guides to Controversial by Brian C. Black Ph.D., Richard Flarend

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By Brian C. Black Ph.D., Richard Flarend

As this ebook makes transparent, civilization can't lengthy proceed to journey on an oil slick. world wide, many of us have come to determine dependence on coal, and particularly on oil, not just as unsustainable, yet as profoundly destabilizing, either environmentally and politically. whereas ever-increasing calls for stay put on "mainstream" power resources, routine makes an attempt were made to generate strength in "alternative" methods. After retracing a few of these efforts, this succinct and traditionally knowledgeable quantity explores the continued debate over replacement power that amassed energy within the twentieth century, displaying how that discuss mirrors greater attitudes towards power and intake. Like different volumes during this sequence, replacement strength is designed to supply fabric for scholar studies and debate arguments. it truly is a great sourcebook for these attracted to investigating the issues and customers of other fuels.

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Being a liquid, petroleum can easily be loaded and unloaded on a ship with pumps, and it is a very energy-dense fuel. Although coal can also be loaded and unloaded, it is not quite as easy to do, and coal is not nearly as energy-dense as petroleum. It would take a much larger ship to transport the same amount of energy in the form of coal as in the form of petroleum. Natural gas can also be imported via ship, but it is expensive. The natural gas must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures and carefully loaded and unloaded.

But regardless of what raw source of energy is used to generate electricity, a kilowatt-hour at the electrical receptacle is still a kilowatt-hour, no matter what the source. WHAT IMPEDES COMPETITION AMONG RAW ENERGY SOURCES? Although it is technically possible for any one raw source of energy to be substituted for any other source, this is not typically done for some consumption sectors. Two examples of this are transportation and commercial/residential heating. In the case of transportation, there is some flexibility, as discussed above, but to be completely flexible, we would need to be able to drive our cars, trucks, trains, ships, airplanes, and so forth on coal, nuclear, wind, solar or any raw energy source.

This is caused not only by supply and demand, but also by external factors such as economic strength and weather. The internal effects of supply and demand tend to be long-term effects, and are very substantial when global demand nears peak global supply. From the demand side, as prices go up, consumers will change their energy consumption habits. This may be by purchasing a more fuelefficient vehicle, driving less, carpooling, adding insulation to their home, buying more-efficient appliances, and so forth.

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