Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future

By David Elliott | Go to book overview

7

Renewables worldwide
• UK renewables
• US renewables
• European renewables
• Japanese renewables

Renewable energy technology has developed rapidly in recent years and it is being used widely around the world. This chapter explores the state of play so far, focusing on developments in the USA, Europe and Japan, and looks at the reasons why some countries are urgently pushing ahead with renewables.


Renewables old and new

The use of renewable energy is not new. As we noted earlier, biomass in the form of firewood still represents the main fuel source for many of the world’s people and conventional large-scale hydroelectric generation is a major existing use of a renewable energy source. However, wood fuel is becoming increasingly scarce and given the high capital cost of large hydro projects and, in some cases, major environmental impacts of such schemes, there has been growing interest in smaller scale hydro plants around the world.

Of the ‘new’ renewables, the use of solar energy for space and water heating obviously has attractions in many countries. There are major projects underway in the USA and elsewhere for electricity production, either using solar heat to raise steam, or using sunlight to power photovoltaic cells. However, in terms of electricity production, it has been wind power that has made the biggest impact: by the mid-1990s there were more than 20,000 wind turbines installed around the world.

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Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Editors' Preface ix
  • Figures xii
  • Tables xiii
  • Boxes xiv
  • Author's Preface xv
  • Study Notes xix
  • Acknowledgements xxiv
  • Abbreviations xxvi
  • Part 1 - Environmental Problems 1
  • 1 - Technology and Society 3
  • 2 - Energy and Environment 17
  • 3 - Sustainable Technology 35
  • Part 2 - Sustainable Technology 47
  • 4 - Greening Technology 49
  • 5 - The Nuclear Alternative 65
  • 6 - Renewable Energy 85
  • 7 - Renewables Worldwide 103
  • 8 - Sustainable Energy Strategy 116
  • Part 3 - Problems of Implementation 129
  • 9 - Getting Started: Institutional Obstacles 131
  • 10 - Keeping Going: Deployment Problems 141
  • 11 - Case Study: Public Reactions to Uk Wind Farms 154
  • 12 - Public Acceptance: the Need for Negotiation 167
  • Part 4 - Sustainable Society 177
  • 13 - Sustainable Development 179
  • 14 - The Global Perspective 194
  • 15 - The Sustainable Future 205
  • Further Reading 218
  • 16 - Conclusions: the Way Ahead? 219
  • Glossary 232
  • Appendix I 234
  • Appendix II 236
  • Appendix III 238
  • References 239
  • Index 247
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