Renewable Energy

Physics, Engineering, Environmental Impacts, Economics & Planning


  • Bent Sorensen, Professor, Institute of Studies in Mathematics and Physics, Roskilde University; President, Novator Advanced Technology Consulting, Denmark

This volume is a true shelf reference, providing a thorough overview of the entire renewable energy sphere, while still functioning as a go-to information source for professionals and students when they need answers about a specific technical issue. Crafted over the last 15 years into a problem-solving tool for engineers, researchers, consultants and planners currently working in the field, as well as a detailed map of the renewables universe for those looking to expand into new technological specialties, Renewable Energy by Sorensen offers the most comprehensive coverage of the subject available.The book has been structured around three parts in order to assist readers in focusing on the issues that impact them the most for a given project or question. PART I covers the basic scientific principles behind all major renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind and biomass. PART II provides in-depth information about how these raw renewable sources can actually be converted into useful forms, transmitted into the grid and stored for future utilization. Finally, PART III undertakes the aspects of energy planning, environmental impacts and socio-economic issues on regional and global levels.In this fourth edition update, new material includes expanded coverage of biofuels, solar conversion, biomass and fuel cells, storage and transmission, and a new chapter on integrated technologies to introduce the hybrid systems now being explored. New surveys and the most recent research findings are included throughout.
View full description


Research scientists, engineers, project managers, consultants and graduate students involved in Renewable Energy development and implementation.


Book information

  • Published: November 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-375025-9

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Perspectives
1.1 Current marketplace penetration
1.2 Brief history of energy use
1.3 Determinants for the future development in energy use
1.4 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

PART I: Energy Resources

Chapter 2. Status, prospects and sustainability issues
2.1 Non-renewable energy resources
2.2 Renewable energy resource introduction

Chapter 3. The origin of renewable energy flows
3.1 Solar radiation
3.2 Disposition of radiation at the Earth
3.3 Processes near the surface of the Earth
3.4 Non-radiative energy flows
3.5 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 4. Modelling renewable energy flows
4.1 Circulation modelling
4.2 Climate: definition and modelling
4.3 Climate: interference and change
4.4 Summary of energy and related matter cycles
4.5 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 5. Individual renewable energy resources
5.1 Direct solar energy
5.2 Wind flows
5.3 Water flows and reservoirs, waves and tides
5.4 Heat flows and reservoirs
5.5 Biological conversion and stores
5.6 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

PART II: Technologies for converting and handling renewable energy

Chapter 6. General principles
6.1 Principles of energy conversion
6.2 Thermodynamical engine cycles
6.3 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 7. Heat energy conversion processes
7.1 Direct thermoelectric conversion
7.2. Engine conversion of solar energy
7.3 Heat pumps
7.4 Geothermal energy conversion
7.5 Ocean-thermal conversion
7.6 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 8. Mechanical energy conversion processes
8.1 Basic description of flow-driven converters
8.2 Propeller-type converters
8.3. Cross-wind and other alternative converter concepts
8.4 Hydro and tidal energy conversion
8.5 Magneto hydrodynamic converters
8.6 Wave energy converters
8.7 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 9. Solar radiation conversion processes
9.1 Photovoltaic conversion
9.2 Photo-electrochemical conversion
9.3 Solar thermal conversion
9.4 Solar thermal electricity generators
9.5 Solar cooling and other applications
9.6 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 10. Electrochemical energy conversion processes
10.1 Fuel cell principles
10.2 Specific types of fuel cells
10.3 Other electrochemical energy conversion
10.4 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 11. Bioenergy conversion processes
11.1 Combustion
11.2 Biological conversion into gaseous fuels
11.3 Biological conversion into liquid fuels
11.4 Thermochemical conversion to gaseous and other fuels
11.5 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 12. Energy Transmission
12.1 Heat transmission
12.2 Power transmission
12.3 Fuel transmission
12.4 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 13. Energy storage technologies
13.1 Heat capacity storage
13.2 Latent heat and chemical transformation storage
13.3 Pumped hydro storage
13.4 Flywheels
13.5 Hydrogen and other compressed gas storage
13.6 Battery storage
13.7 Additional storage forms
13.8 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

PART III: Planning and socio-economic issues

Chapter 14. Energy system planning
14.1 The methodologies of energy planning
14.2 Demand scenario construction
14.3 Overall system scenarios
14.4 Consistency simulation and implementation studies
14.5 Local systems
14.6 Regional systems
14.7 Global systems
14.8 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 15. Socio-economic assessment
15.1 Social and economic framework
15.2 Scale of analysis
15.3 Life-cycle approach
15.4 Assessment issues
15.5 Communication and policy dimensions
15.6 Topics for discussion and for mini-projects

Chapter 16. Integrated approaches
16.1 Greenhouse warming mitigation
16.2 Greenhouse warming adaptation
16.3 Ecological sustainability
16.4 Winding up