The Switch

The Switch

Book - 2016
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How will the world be powered in ten years' time? Not by fossil fuels. Energy experts are all saying the same thing: solar photovoltaics (PV) is our future. Reports from universities, investment banks, international institutions and large investors agree. It's not about whether the switch from fossil fuels to solar power will happen, but when. Solar panels are being made that will last longer than ever hoped; investors are seeing the benefits of the long-term rewards provided by investing in solar; in the Middle East, a contractor can now offer solar-powered electricity far cheaper than that of a coal-fired power station. This book tracks the transition away from coal, oil and gas to a world in which the limitless energy of the sun provides much of the energy the 10 billion people of this planet will need. It examines both the solar future and how we will get there, and the ways in which we will provide stored power when the sun isn't shining. We learn about artificial photosynthesis from a start-up in the US that is making petrol from just CO2 and sunlight; ideas on energy storage are drawn from a company in Germany that makes batteries for homes; in the UK, a small company in Swindon has the story of wind turbines; and in Switzerland, a developer shows how we can use hydrogen to make 'renewable' natural gas for heating.
Publisher: London, Profile Books,, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781781256350
Characteristics: 274 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.

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Mit895
Mar 20, 2017

This book revolves around the author's argument that solar energy is the future. While there are many compelling points, it does at times feel like a one-sided debate, arguing solar power's inevitability in an almost ideological fashion and decrying all other forms of power. Of course, this approach isn't surprising given that his bio lists him as "an investor in young companies in the low-carbon world". But moving on... The section on new technologies felt a little out-of-place. May have benefited from a bit more discussion of the political influence (national and international carbon reduction policies/agreements, emissions trading schemes, industry subsidies etc) and economies of scale (relative to other power sources) across the third world.

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