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Über dieses Buch

This important book lays bare the dangers of global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions stemming from fossil fuel use, and proposes pathways toward mitigation. A discussion of the current main uses of fossil fuels acts as a basis for presenting viable, economically sound alternatives. The author outlines a clear, practical strategy for establishing a carbon-free future by deploying proven policy structures and technologies that are already commercially available.



Chapter 1. Introduction

By carbon apocalypse, we mean a situation in which very serious damage and destruction occurs as a result of the release of carbon dioxide. This is largely brought about by combusting fossil fuels to make electric power and to fuel transport. This is now considered to bring about global warming , which has several consequences including catastrophic sea level rise.
John Lowry

Chapter 2. Energy Produced and Carbon Released from Fossil Fuels and the Amount of Alternative Energy Required as a Replacement

Before we embark on discussing future energy supply, it is important to understand how we use and produce power and energy at present.
John Lowry

Chapter 3. Electrical Super Grids

Sustainable and alternative energy have some disadvantages compared with fossil fuel power generation. Renewable energy is often readily available in one place, but needed in another. As a simple example, wind energy may be abundantly available from offshore wind farms in the North Sea and simultaneously needed during times of low wind in Spain. High solar energy may be produced in the Sahara at times when more northerly climates may not be able to produce much solar energy, such as in mid-winter. It is hard to store energy in meaningful quantities using today’s technology. Many forms of sustainable energy, such as solar and wind, are not capable of providing an increase in power to match an increase in demand, as would be the case for a gas-powered turbine driving a generator, for example. Therefore, some degree of rethink is required if we are to rely totally on alternative energy. Hydropower and tidal power are more flexible. Nuclear has a high base load and electricity is often wasted, as it is hard to regulate nuclear power stations to match demands.
John Lowry

Chapter 4. Alternative, Sustainable and Nuclear Energy

Solar energy is an abundant source of sustainable energy. The cost of converting solar energy to electricity continues to fall, making it a strong prospect for a future power source that could generate much of the energy currently generated from burning fossil fuels. Not only could solar power provide enough energy to replace that supplied by fossil fuels, but it could also provide enough energy for the earth’s total requirements many times over.
John Lowry

Chapter 5. Hydrogen and Other Synthesised Fuels

It is quite possible to manufacture fuels from other sources without the use of fossil fuels. The main contenders are hydrogen , biofuels and synthesised fuels. Since the aim of this book is to investigate energy from non-fossil fuels, traditional methods of producing fuels such as hydrogen from fossil fuels must be ruled, out and any fuel should be manufactured using a non-fossil fuel source such as nuclear, wind, tidal or solar. Using fossil fuel energy rather defeats the object of eliminating fossil fuels and will contribute to carbon release.
John Lowry

Chapter 6. Energy Storage

One of the advantages of using fossil fuels for power generation is the ability to respond rapidly to energy demand. Some alternative energy sources can also produce power on demand and others cannot. Hydropower can produce power on demand, as can geothermal energy.
John Lowry

Chapter 7. Economics

There are three major economic factors to consider in the cost of using non fossil fuel energy sources to energise the world. The first is the cost of generating energy from non-fossil fuel sources; the second is the cost of doing nothing ; and the third is the cost of adapting the world’s infrastructure to enable the use of alternative energy.
John Lowry

Chapter 8. Land Transport Without Fossil Fuels

Different forms of transport use widely different amounts of energy and it is important to understand this when comparing one form to another. It also enables us to judge whether one form of transport can be substituted for a more economical form or one that can use electricity directly from an alternative energy source.
John Lowry

Chapter 9. Air and Sea Transport Without Fossil Fuels

Air transport is possibly the hardest form of transport to run using non-fossil fuel energy sources. Land transport can be run from electricity by storing it in rechargeable batteries or pressurised containers of hydrogen or, as is the case with trains, electricity can be supplied via supply cables or rails. Nuclear-powered aircraft, if practical, are likely to be considered an unacceptable risk.
John Lowry

Chapter 10. Do We Have the Resources?

It is worth taking a brief look at whether the world has sufficient resources to provide an energy system that is not based on fossil fuels. Clearly, there is no point in replacing fossil fuels with a non-fossil fuel based energy system if it uses materials with insufficient reserves to last. Where necessary, it is worth having alternatives in mind when one particular material is likely to become depleted.
John Lowry

Chapter 11. Energising the World Using Non-fossil Fuel Sources

It was seen in Chap. 3 that each year the world uses fossil fuels containing an energy content (calorific value) of around 10,000 million tonnes of oil equivalent, i.e. with an energy content of approximately 116,000 TWh.
John Lowry

Chapter 12. Final Infrastructure

In order to free the world from burning fossil fuels for power and transport , a great deal of new infrastructure will need to be planned and put in place. The outline of the world system, which will need to be planned in detail and implemented, is described below.
John Lowry

Chapter 13. Avoiding the Carbon Apocalypse

We have reached a point in time where global warming caused by the release of carbon dioxide, is going to cause major problems. At the same time, reserves of fossil fuels are starting to run out.
John Lowry


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