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Alternative Energy


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Table of Contents

Preface About the Author Chapter 1: Why Alternative Energy and Fuels? Chapter 2: Studying Public Policy and Alternative Energy/Fuels Chapter 3: Alternative Energy/Fuels as a Public Policy Innovation Chapter 4: Solar Energy Chapter 5: Wind Energy Chapter 6: Geothermal Energy Chapter 7: New Century Fuels and Their Uses Chapter 8: Historical Precedents: Alternative Energy/Fuels and Legitimacy Issues Chapter 9: Conceptualizing Alternative Energy Policy and Future Directions Index

About the Author

Christopher A. Simon is professor of political science, Interim Director of the Masters in Public Policy Program, and a former Director of the Masters in Public Administration Program at The University of Utah.


A bit over a decade ago I wrote about the 1st edition the following: "The economics, basic science, and cultural and political dynamics associated with public policy reformulation in the area of alternative energy sources are indeed complex...Simon should be commended for his artful framing of this issue, and for his fair and even-handed assessment of the public policy options..." The decade since the publication of the first edition has NOT witnessed the advent of a consensus on any one (or even a few) of these options as a basis for a minimal fossil fuel use future. Quite to the contrary, while the global consensus on anthropomorphic sources of global warming has been bolstered by convincing evidence of a pending disaster, little agreement is to found on U.S. alternative energy policy. New "next generation" developments in the areas of solar thermal energy, enhanced geothermal, ocean thermal energy conversion, pumped hydro, and simultaneous major advancements in the conceptualization of energy storage systems and battery designs have added further to the need for fair and even-handed discussion of the economics, basic science, engineering and socio-political dynamics associated with alternative energy sources. This 2nd edition of the Simon book is even better than the first; while equally balanced in its treatment of public policy options, it is even better in its discussion of the basic science, engineering, and socio-political dynamics at play in formulating an appropriate energy policy for the U.S. Simon's maturity of thought, clear dedication to mastery over the feasibility of the policy options at play, and genuine desire to provide a sound and reliable foundation for public policy debate are clearly in evidence in this 2nd edition. I can recommend this book in the full confidence that students and policy makers alike will find it informative and insightful, and that it will contribute importantly to the U.S. energy policy literature.--Nicholas P. Lovrich, Jr., regents professor emeritus and Clauius O. and Mary W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Political Science, School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University
Christopher Simon's second edition of Alternative Energy: Political, Economic, and Social Feasibility provides an excellent and comprehensive updated overview of the policy dynamics surrounding the adoption of alternative energy technologies. With the increasingly severe effects of global climate change and the need to move away from fossil fuels, Simon's book articulately lays out the obstacles and possibilities of alternative energy adoption.--Brent S. Steel, professor and graduate director in public policy, Oregon State University
The world is undeniably undergoing a transition, if not a transformation, to a low-carbon economy. How society harnesses alternative forms of energy such as solar, wind, and geothermal is a central component of both understanding and possibly steering that transformation. This second edition of Alternative Energy is pivotal in equipping readers with the understanding they need of history, legitimacy, policy and even politics for engaging with this highly important topic.--Benjamin K. Sovacool, professor of energy policy at the University of Sussex, and author of Global Energy Justice

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