Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems: Benefits and Risks

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D. Pimentel
Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 4, 2008 - Technology & Engineering - 504 pages
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The petroleum age began about 150 years ago. Easily available energy has s- ported major advances in agriculture, industry, transportation, and indeed many diverse activities valued by humans. Now world petroleum and natural gas s- plies have peaked and their supplies will slowly decline over the next 40–50 years until depleted. Although small amounts of petroleum and natural gas will remain underground, it will be energetically and economically impossible to extract. In the United States, coal supplies could be available for as long as 40–50 years, depending on how rapidly coal is utilized as a replacement for petroleum and natural gas. Having been comfortable with the security provided by fossil energy, especially petroleum and natural gas, we appear to be slow to recognize the energy crisis in the U. S. and world. Serious energy conservation and research on viable renewable - ergy technologies are needed. Several renewable energy technologies already exist, but sound research is needed to improve their effectiveness and economics. Most of the renewable energy technologies are in uenced by geographic location and face problems of intermittent energy supply and storage. Most renewable technologies require extensive land; a few researchers have even suggested that one-half of all land biomass could be harvested in order to supply the U. S. with 30% of its liquid fuel! Some optimistic investigations of renewable energy have failed to recognize that only 0. 1% of the solar energy is captured annually in the U. S.
 

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Contents

Renewable and Solar Energy Technologies Energy and Environmental Issues
1
Can the Earth Deliver the BiomassforFuel we Demand?
19
A Review of the Economic Rewards and Risks of Ethanol Production
56
Subsidies to Ethanol in the United States
79
Peak Oil EROI Investments and the Economy in an Uncertain Future
109
Wind Power Benefits and Limitations
133
Renewable Diesel
153
Complex Systems Thinking and Renewable Energy Systems
172
A Framework for Energy Alternatives Net Energy Liebigs Law and Multicriteria Analysis
295
BioEthanol Production in Brazil
321
Ethanol Production Energy and Economic Issues Related to US and Brazilian Sugarcane
357
Ethanol Production Using Corn Switchgrass and Wood Biodiesel Production Using Soybean
372
Developing Energy Crops for Thermal Applications Optimizing Fuel Quality Energy Security and GHG Mitigation
395
Organic and Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Conservation
425
Biofuel Production in Italy and Europe Benefits and Costs in the Light of the Present European Union Biofuel Policy
465
The Power Density of Ethanol from Brazilian Sugarcane
492

Sugarcane and Ethanol Production and Carbon Dioxide Balances
215
Biomass Fuel Cycle Boundaries and Parameters Current Practice and Proposed Methodology
231
Our Food and Fuel Future
258
A Brief Discussion on Algae for Oil Production Energy Issues
499
Index
501
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

David Pimentel is a professor of ecology and agricultural sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-0901. His Ph.D. is from Cornell University. His research spans the fields of energy, ecological and economic aspects of pest control, biological control, biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, land and water conservation, and environmental policy. Pimentel has published more than 600 scientific papers and 25 books and has served on many national and government committees including the National Academy of Sciences; President’s Science Advisory Council; U.S Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress; and the U.S. State Department.