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Future Energy - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080548081, 9780080564876

Future Energy

1st Edition

Improved, Sustainable and Clean Options for our Planet

Editor: Trevor Letcher
eBook ISBN: 9780080564876
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080548081
eBook ISBN: 9780080887067
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 30th July 2008
Page Count: 400
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Future Energy will allow us to make reasonable, logical and correct decisions on our future energy as a result of two of the most serious problems that the civilized world has to face; the looming shortage of oil (which supplies most of our transport fuel) and the alarming rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 50 years (resulting from the burning of oil, gas and coal and the loss of forests) that threatens to change the world’s climate through global warming.

Future Energy focuses on all the types of energy available to us, taking into account a future involving a reduction in oil and gas production and the rapidly increasing amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. It is unique in the genre of books of similar title in that each chapter has been written by a scientist or engineer who is an expert in his or her field.
The book is divided into four sections:

  • Traditional Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Energy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Potentially Important New Types of Energy
  • New Aspects to Future Energy Usage

Each chapter highlights the basic theory and implementation, scope, problems and costs associated with a particular type of energy. The traditional fuels are included because they will be with us for decades to come - but, we hope, in a cleaner form. The renewable energy types includes wind power, wave power, tidal energy, two forms of solar energy, bio-mass, hydroelectricity, geothermal and the hydrogen economy. Potentially important new types of energy include: pebble bed nuclear reactors, nuclear fusion, methane hydrates and recent developments in fuel cells and batteries.

Key Features

  • Written by experts in the key future energy disciplines from around the globe
  • Details of all possible forms of energy that are and will be available globally in the next two decades
  • Puts each type of available energy into perspective with realistic, future options


Students, professionals and researchers in energy engineering and the energy industry, as well as policymakers in government

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Future of Oil and Gas Fossil Fuels
A Goodwin
1 Introduction
2 Hydrocarbon Reserves
3 Hydrocarbon Recovery, Reserves, Production and Consumption
4 Global warming, Alternative Energy and CO2 Sequestration
5 Conclusion
Chapter 2 The Future of Clean Coal
M Balat
1 Introduction
2 Coal and Environmental Problems
3 Clean Coal Technologies
4 Cost and Plant Characteristics
5 Conclusion
Chapter 3 Nuclear Power (Fission)
S Green and D Kennedy
1 Introduction
2 UK cost benefit analysis for 2007 Energy White Paper
3 Other recent studies on nuclear generation costs
4 Global prospects for nuclear power
5 Conclusions
Chapter 4 The Alberta Oil Sands: Reserves and Supply Outlook
F Rahnama, K Elliott, RA Marsh and L Philip
1 Introduction
2 Bitumen Reserves in Alberta
3 Reserves Under Development
4 Bitumen Recovery Techniques
5 Short Term Bitumen Supply in Alberta
6 Long Term Bitumen Supply in Alberta
7 Supply Costs of Bitumen Production in Alberta
8 Conclusions
Chapter 5 The Future of Methane and Coal to Petrol and Diesel Technologies
AC Vosloo
1 Brief Description of the Methane and Coal to Petrol and Diesel Technologies
2 Factors that will Influence the Future Demand for CTL and GTL Technologies
3 Environmental Factors that will Influence the Application of CTL and GTL Technologies
4 Future Developments to Reduce the Capital and Operating Costs of CTL and GTL Plants
5 Conclusions

Chapter 6 Wind Energy
L Staudt
1 History and Present Status
2 Technical Issues
3 Commercial Issues
4 Environmental Issues
5 Conclusions
Chapter 7 Tidal Current Energy: Origins and Challenges
A Owen
1 Introduction
2 Tidal Current Drivers
3 Devices
4 Anchors and Fixings
5 Bio-fouling
6 Summary
Chapter 8 Wave Energy
R Alcorn
1 Background, Context and Drivers of wave Energy
2 What is Ocean Wave Energy
3 The Energy Resource and How it is Measured
4 Forecasting and Prediction
5 Challenges and Benefits
6 Converter Types
7 Device Rating
8 Modern Devices
9 Economics of Wave Energy
10 Alternative Output
11 Future
Chapter 9 Bio-Mass
P Champagne
1 Introduction
2 Bio-mass Resources
3 Bio-energy and Bio-fuels
4 Bio-mass to Energy Conversion Process
5 Bio-economics
6 Limitations and Knowledge Gaps
Chapter 10 Concentrating Solar Power
R Pitz-Paal
1 Introduction – Concept and Basic Characteristics
2 State of the Art
3 Cost Reduction Potential
4 Further Options
Chapter 11 Hydroelectric Power
D Spreng and M Balmer
1 History and Development
2 Technology
3 Hydropower and Sustainability
4 Economics of Hydropower
5 Hydropower in Liberalised Electricity Markets
Chapter 12 Geothermal Energy
JL Renner
1 Heat Flow and Subsurface Temperatures
2 Tectonic Controls
3 Types of Geothermal Systems
4 Worldwide Geothermal Potential
5 Worldwide Geothermal Development
6 Methods for Electrical Generation
7 Direct Use of Geothermal Energy
8 Environmental Constraints
9 The Future
10 Source of Additional Information
Chapter 13 Solar Energy: Photovoltaics
D Infield
1 Background
2 The Solar Resource
3 Outline of the Conversion Process
4 Manufacturing Processes
5 Applications
6 Brief Summary of Research Challenges

Chapter 14 The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor
D Matzner
1 Historical Preface
2 Reactor Unit
3 Nuclear Safety
4 Technological Applications
5 Project Status
Chapter 15 Fuel Cells and Batteries
J Salminen, D Steingard and T Kallio
1 Fuel Cells
2 Batteries
3 Concluding Remarks
Chapter 16 Methane Hydrates
E Allison
1 Background
2 Detection and Quantification
3 Production Technology
4 Economics
5 Time Scale for Development
Chapter 17 Nuclear Fusion
L Grisham
1 What is Nuclear Fusion
2 Desirable Characteristics of Fusion Power
3 Why Fusion Power id Difficult
4 Approaches to Fusion Reactors
5 Economics of Fusion Energy
6 Prospects for Fusion Energy

Chapter 18 Carbon Capture and Storage for Greenhouse effect Mitigation
D Tondeur and F Teng
1 Introductory Aspects
2 The Capture Techniques
3 Geological Storage of CO2
4 Costs
5 Conclusions
Chapter 19 Smart Energy Houses of the Future – self supporting in energy and zero emission
R Wing
1 Design and Construction of Energy Efficient Buildings
2 Design of Very Low or Zero Energy Housing
3 Future Technical Developments and Demonstration Projects
4 Guidelines for Future Energy Efficient Housing
Chapter 20 The Prospects for Electricity and Transport Fuels to 2050
G Dutton and M Page
1 Introduction
2 Energy Future Scenarios
3 Primary Energy Policy Drivers
4 Future Energy Fuel Options and supply Structures for Transport
5 Future Energy Supply Structures for Electricity
6 Conclusions


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© Elsevier Science 2008
30th July 2008
Elsevier Science
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About the Editor

Trevor Letcher

Trevor Letcher

Trevor M. Letcher is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a past Director of the International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics and his research involves the thermodynamics of liquid mixtures and energy from landfill. He was awarded the South African Chemical Institute’s Gold medal in 1999 and in 2000 he was awarded the South African Gold medal by the South African Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published over 250 papers in peer review journals and has edited, co-edited and written eleven books in his research and related fields. His latest books include Unraveling Environmental Disasters (2012), Materials for a Sustainable Future (2012), Waste (2011), Heat Capacities (2010), Climate Change (2009) and Future Energy (2008).

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor, School of Chemistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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