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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Books about Alternative Energy

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September 09, 2009

Book Roundup Wednesday: Books about Alternative Energy

Books about environmentalismEvery Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Today we're recommending books about using alternative energy.

Renewable Energies for Your Home: Real-World Solutions for Green Conversions (by Russel Gehrke, $25, McGraw Hill, July 2009): Gehrke, an engineer and inventor, discusses the role alternative energy has played in his own life, the current path of fossil fuels, and how we have been using alternative energy. The book includes basic explanations about how to use solar power, wind power, biofuels, and even human power in your home. Plenty of photos of these projects ensure you won’t get lost when you try them out.

Wind Energy Basics: A Guide to Home- and Community-Scale Wind Energy Systems (by Paul Gipe, $30, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, May 2009): A verifiable expert in wind power, Paul Gipe provides an account of how we can use wind power in our home and communities, and explains what we need to consider regarding the pros and cons of wind energy. Though this book is basic, the author uses many mathematical equations that could make a novice’s head spin.


Alcohol Can Be a Gas!: Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century  (by David Blume, $47, International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, Nov. 2007): This bulky text describes everything you ever wanted to know about using alcohol and various biofuels as alternative fuel sources. You will learn how to make alcohol, how to use any alcohol byproduct, and how to use alcohol as fuel. Blume’s conversational tone makes the complicated processes seem easy and doable. Plenty of pictures, diagrams, and cartoons make this a more interesting read.

Introduction to Energy in California (by Peter Asmus, $15, University of California Press, July 2009): This reference book provides an interesting story about how California has used different energy sources (from fossil fuels to alternative energy) throughout its history. Asmus also explains the pluses and minuses of current alternative energies used in California and concludes with on overview of several ongoing research projects about new alternative resources in the state. Despite the focus being on California, the text provides a good overview of alternative-energy resources.

--Julie Littman

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