Energy is truly the world's most vital commodity. It makes modern societies possible, and the decisions made regarding it have far-reaching repercussions. Every day stories about the price of oil, the resurgence of nuclear power, or the latest clean energy alternative can be found in mainstream news outlets across the country. Yet despite its high profile, energy remains largely misunderstood. People are confused, intimidated and generally discouraged from learning about energy, partly because the topic is so large and opaque, but also because the resources that do exist fail to provide an overall picture the average reader can understand. Here, in easily accessible language accompanied by simple illustrations of difficult concepts, the authors lay out the basics of energy in a palatable and refreshing way. Readers are treated to a vivid presentation of the basics of energy science, alongside the politics, economics, and social issues that impact its harnessing, distribution, and use. Anyone interested in how energy truly works will find answers in these pages that shed light on the past, present, and future of world energy.
Vikram Janardhan and Bob Fesmire reveal that they are 'on a mission for energy literacy' in the opening to their two-volume energy explained books, and I hope they complete that mission. What they don't completely reveal is just how fun the journey will really be (though there are a few hints). This is NOVA narrated by Jon Stewart, Nature reinterpreted by Stephen Colbert-PBS with a Comedy Central sense of humor. As witty as it is informative, I honestly wish that I'd had these books around when I began in this industry a decade ago and didn't know a watt from a whatchamacallit. Unfortunately, I had to deal with dry tomes more confusing than helpful. Woe is me. In the future, I'll recommend our industry newbies to pick energy explained. Not only will they 'get it' more quickly, I think the volume of whining about how dull it all is will cease. * Powergrid International Magazine *
[The authors] method . . . is to take a weighty subject and make it an easy read. * New York Journal of Books *
These two volumes are an excellent introductory resource for secondary school education or perhaps college-level study as supplements in a nontechnical course where energy is a major area of study, such as in society and technology series courses. Janardhan (energy consultant) and Fesmire (writer/editor and communications manager in energy industry) write in a very readable, comparative narrative style ideal for the lay reader. They do an excellent job of conveying scientific principles and engineering applications without using esoteric formulations and detailed mathematics. The graphs and illustrations are accurate and simple for nontechnical audiences to understand. The books cover every major technical and societal issue in energy and energy conversion, from basic operation of traditional energy generation and distribution sources to current and future nontraditional technology. The authors do not avoid the many ecological, political, and economic controversies surrounding energy decisions; on the contrary, they provide commendably balanced, though somewhat simplified, presentations of the major issues and arguments. Any technical person would enjoy reading the "Fun Facts" sections in almost every chapter; they provide enlightening "gee whiz" quantitative facts and factoids from across the energy and energy conversion topics spectra. Summing Up: Recommended. * CHOICE *
The text is engaging and interesting, presenting good information in non-technical language. It should interest high school students as well as adults wanting to learn more about energy. It fills the important need of better informing individuals about the importance of energy....In the second volume in the series, the authors discuss a wealth of ideas about energy sources that do not contribute very much to global warming....The text is clear and easy to understand. In many ways, it reads like a novel and can be started and stopped at any point....The authors achieve the goal they describe: 'We set out to make energy understandable with a healthy dose of humor because, well, you just can't be that serious all the time, even about a topic as serious as this.' * National Science Teachers Association *
[Volume 1] Well-suited for academic studies and most general readers, the first volume of this work sets a high standard for other books on the subject.
[Volume 2] The result is a second volume that works as well as the first in presenting relevant information on energy issues succinctly and well. An easy-to-understand guide for those interested in alternative energy. * Kirkus *
1 Volume I: Conventional Energy 2 Preface - A call for Energy Literacy 3 Part 1: The World of Energy 4 Chapter 1: Why is this Topic so Important Now? 5 Chapter 2: A Brief History of Energy 6 Part 2: Oil, Oil Everywhere: The World of Oil 7 Chapter 3: Black Gold: A Brief History of Oil 8 Chapter 4: The Science and Technology of Oil 9 Chapter 5: Refining and Distribution 10 Chapter 6: How do Gasoline Prices Work? 11 Chapter 7: Peak Oil: How Much Do We Have Left? 12 Chapter 8: OPEC and the Role of the Oil Cartel 13 Chapter 9: Oil and the Environment 14 Chapter 10: The Future of Oil 15 Part 3: Fuel From Fossils 16 Chapter 11: King Coal 17 Chapter 12: Natural Gas 18 Chapter 13: Global Warming 19 Part 4: Power Up! The Incredible World of Electricity 20 Chapter 14: What is Electricity? 21 Chapter 15: Power Generation 22 Chapter 16: Transmission and Distribution 23 Chapter 17: Our Electric System 24 Part 5: Energy Policy 25 Chapter 18: Energy Policy at Home and Abroad 26 Chapter 19: Energy Market Regulation 27 Chapter 20: Deregulation 28 Volume II: Alternative Energy 29 Part 1: Renewable Energy 30 Chapter 1: Wind Energy 31 Chapter 2: Solar Energy 32 Chapter 3: Tidal Energy 33 Chapter 4: Biomass Energy 34 Chapter 5: Geothermal Energy 35 Chapter 6: Bottle That Electron! (Energy Storage) 36 Part 2: Energy and Transportation 37 Chapter 7: Land, Sea and Air - Energy in Transportation 38 Chapter 8: Fuels From Fossils (Revisited) 39 Chapter 9: Biodiesel 40 Chapter 10: Ethanol 41 Chapter 11: Hybrids, Plug-ins and Electric Vehicles 42 Chapter 12: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 43 Chapter 13: The Road Ahead 44 Part 3: Energy Security 45 Chapter 14: Security, Reliability, Diversity and Independence 46 Chapter 15: Our Aging Power Grid 47 Chapter 16: Nuclear Energy 48 Chapter 17: The Geopolitics of Oil 49 Part 4: Energy Efficiency 50 Chapter 18: Reducing Energy Wastage 51 Chapter 19: Energy Efficiency Begins at Home 52 Chapter 20: Green Living 53 Chapter 21: Energy Efficiency on a Broader Scale 54 Part 5: A New Energy Economy 55 Chapter 22: Clean Tech Investments 56 Chapter 23: Energy, Economy, Jobs and Education 57 Chapter 24: The Coming Energy Revolution 58 Epilogue