Thursday, 31 December 2009

Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air

At our August meeting, our former coordinator Steve Goodacre, gave a talk about David MacKay's new book which is called "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air". The idea behind the book is to calculate the amount of energy we use in everyday life and compare it with the amount of energy we can physically generate from renewables and other sources of energy. David doesn’t make a conclusion about the forms of energy we should use, instead he allows the reader to make their own decisions as long as the figures add up.

As different activities are calculated in different units - for example, gas uses a BTU unit, cars use MPG and electricity uses KW/h - David makes the comparisons much simpler by converting everything into a unit of KW/h consumed per person per day. This information is really useful for campaigners as it shows the different energy options available and whether they would be sufficient to power our country. Other sections include renewable energy which could be imported from foreign countries such as Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) from North Africa.

The book is available to buy for around £18 or it can be downloaded for free at: www.withouthotair.com