By Michael Brower
Ten years in the past, America's short love affair with renewable power assets got here to an abrupt finish, the sufferer of declining oil costs and govt indifference. yet renewable strength is still the single workable long term replacement to depletable and polluting oil, fuel, and coal. Cool strength presents the 1st significant evaluate of growth within the box of renewable power applied sciences - sun, wind, biomass (plant matter), hydroelectric, and geothermal - because the mid-1980s. It analyzes their near-term and long term strength to displace fossil fuels, and illuminates the position they can play in mitigating environmental difficulties comparable to pollution, acid rain, and worldwide warming. Energy-policy professional Michael Brower argues that, with the best guidelines, renewable power may provide up to 1/2 America's power wishes inside 40 years. He identifies the marketplace obstacles that would need to be got rid of and argues that if the hidden expenses of fossil fuels are considered, renewables seem to be a less expensive resource of recent power provide than fossil fuels: the reliability and potency in their gear have greater and the price of fitting, protecting, and operating renewable structures has declined. Brower devotes a bankruptcy to every renewable power resource, describes its present software, and discusses its bills. He additionally analyzes new applied sciences below improvement and assesses their confident and damaging attributes. Introductory chapters set renewables within the context of present power and environmental coverage, and the final bankruptcy outlines steps which may support pace the transition to a renewable-energy economic climate. Michael Brower is a physicist and holds the placement of study Director for the Union of involved Scientists.
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Additional resources for Cool Energy: Renewable Solutions to Environmental Problems - Revised Edition
All are based on the same design: Sunlight strikes row upon row of parabolic troughs, heating a fluid inside the line receiver, a glass enclosed pipe that runs through the center of each trough. This fluid is pumped to a central plant where steam and electricity are generated. 9 Several factors were responsible for the company's remarkable suc cess. 5 percent), allowed the company to secure a market for its first plants even at their high initial cost. Second, LUZ succeeded in greatly reducing capital costs and improving performance for each successive plant it built.
A major cause of the bankruptcy was uncertainty over available tax relief, a vital ingredient since under existing tax codes solar power plants must pay much higher taxes than conventional power plants of a similar size.!! Because the federal energy tax credit has been renewed on an annual basis since 1985, LUZ faced an artificially imposed, year-end deadline for completing its tenth plant. Before starting construction, however, the company needed assurance that the new plant would be exempt from state property taxes on the land occupied by the collector field.
A solar water heater, for example, may cost $2,500 to purchase and install, whereas a conventional water heater may cost no more than $800. Similarly, a solar power plant may cost $2,500 to $3,000 per kilowatt of capacity, whereas a conventional power plant costs anywhere from $400 to $1,200 per kilowatt. The difference is that the solar technologies cost very little to operate, whereas the major cost associated with conven tional technologies is usually fuel, which will be paid later. Even our tax system tends to penalize capital-intensive renewable energy investments.
Cool Energy: Renewable Solutions to Environmental Problems - Revised Edition by Michael Brower