Book Recommendations

SuperpowerSuperpower: Australia's Low-Carbon Opportunity

‘The fog of Australian politics on climate change has obscured a fateful reality: Australia has the potential to be an economic superpower of the future post-carbon world.’—Ross Garnaut

We have unparalleled renewable energy resources. We also have the necessary scientific skills. Australia could be the natural home for an increasing proportion of global industry. But how do we make this happen?

In this crisp, compelling book, Australia’s leading thinker about climate and energy policy offers a road map for progress, covering energy, transport, agriculture, the international scene and more. Rich in ideas and practical optimism, Superpower is a crucial, timely contribution to this country’s future.

To write the book, the lead author W. Palz collaborated with some 41 VIPs in the sector from all over the world, and in particular from the US, Europe, China and Japan. Some of them are PV specialists, some are from administrations such as the World Bank, some represent associations such as ISES, the oldest of them all, or ACORE from Washington, and last but not the least, some are politicians who introduced the supporting legislation. The book is illustrated with about 100 pictures.

solar bangladesh

The Marketmakers - Solar for the Hinterland of Bangladesh

A solar market is booming in the hinterland of Bangladesh: not in the megacity, Dhaka―but in village markets and bazars, in tribal hamlets in the Hill Tracts, on islands in the Brahmaputra River and in the fishing villages along the Bay of Bengal.  This is Bangladesh’s hinterland, where 70% of the population lives.  And in this respect Bangladesh is no different from other developing countries in Asia and Africa.

But here Bangladesh stands out: It is home to a thriving rural market for solar home systems―a market based on private enterprise, competition and innovation.  Within a decade, 50 rural enterprises were installing up to 65,000 solar home systems a month, creating thousands of village jobs and fueling the economy.

No doubt, rural business is tough.  How do you create demand for solar power given limited village household incomes and a technology no one has ever heard of?  And how do you ensure quality service to remote households scattered across a river delta?  Many see the answer in subsidizing the solar systems.  Bangladesh showed that subsidies alone won’t create a market.  Developing a solar market takes more―much more: rural entrepreneurs, finance, innovative business models and leadership.

the triumph of the sun

The Triumph of the Sun - The Energy of the New Century

The physicist, long-time EU Commission official and comrade-in-arms of Hermann Scheer has published his legacy. It is fascinating to read how the new renewable energies, i.e. photovoltaics, wind power, modern biomass and solar thermal energy have grown exponentially from small beginnings to the present day. Wolfgang Palz puts this development into context by providing hallmarks of earth's history and the achievements of physics, thereby proving his optimism that mankind will make the transition to a sustainable use of energy with facts and figures.

The leading role of Germany and the European Union in the industrialization of photovoltaics and wind power is scrutinised as well as their current relapse behind China, Japan, the USA and India. The redirection of the large-scale extractive industry of fossil and nuclear fuels to the phase-out level does not result from insight into mankind's limitations but from renewables having become more attractive financially. The European Union has played its part in this development, as did Wolfgang Palz, who was jointly responsible for the course taken for many years.

regenerative regionRegenerative Region - Energy- and Climate Atlas Lake Constance-Alpine Rhine

"Regions undergo a renaissance in this globalised world, re-emerging as vital domains of collective life, sources of cultural identity, as planning territories and economic spaces – and as autonomous energy systems. Regions play a critical role in working towards to a carbon emissions and nuclear free future. At the regional level resilient renewable energy systems can evolve, supporting community health and security – and producing substantial value added benefits. Indeed, in the struggle for renewable energy independence, the future belongs to renewable energy, sustainable local income generation and, urgently, regional carbon sequestration strategies.

A five-university consortium led by Professor Droege studied the Lake Constance Region, a 15’0000 square kilometre large territory across four central European countries over four years, and demonstrated how it can become a model region, and how its potentials can be fully utilised, building on the many current initiatives. The multidisciplinary and scientifically based publication is now released: it explores the energetic, organisational and economic opportunities of a renewably autonomous region. The authors present directions and tangible possibilities for the regional economy, spatial development, transport, urban design and architecture, in at once practical and model ways."

sun above the horizonSUN ABOVE THE HORIZON - Meteoric Rise of the Solar Industry

"The meteoric rise of the photovoltaic (PV) industry is an incredible story. In 2013, Google’s investments in PV systems totaled about half a billion dollars, and Warren Buffet, one of the famous investors, invested US$ 2.5 billion in the world’s largest PV system in California. These gigantic investments by major financial players were made only 40 years after the first two terrestrial PV companies, Solarex and Solar Power Corporation, were formed in the USA. Back in 1973, the two companies employed 20 people and produced only 500 w of PV power. Now, just 40 years later, over a million people work in the PV industry. The worldwide capacity of operating PV electric generators equals the capacity of about 25 nuclear power plants. The PV industry is growing at an annual rate of 30%, equivalent to about five new nuclear power plants per year. Today, solar electricity is a significant supplier of electricity needs, to the extent that PV is forcing the restructuring of 100-year-old electric power utilities. This book describes how this happened and what lies ahead for PV power generation."

solar power for the worldSolar Power for the World - What You Wanted to Know about Photovoltaics

"Published in full color, this book describes the industrial revolution associated with the implementation of electric power generation by photovoltaics (PV), the conversion of the Sun’s radiation. It also describes the dramatic events in the industry that happened between 2009 and 2013: hundreds of PV companies in difficulty and the trade war between the EU and China mobilising state leaders on both sides to avoid a serious conflict. The contributing authors are protagonists all over the world who brought PV from its industrial birth in 1954 all the way up to the stormy developments during the first decade of the new century.

Virtually non-existent at the beginning of this century, solar installations worldwide have reached over 100 GW in late 2012. Eventually, in 2012, PV became cheap enough to provide decentralised power to all. In one single year, more solar power capacity was installed globally than nuclear and other types of conventional power. Investments reached hundreds of billions of US dollars, i.e. a multiple of the cost of “Apollo”, which was used to send men on the moon. Over half a million new PV jobs were created despite the financial crisis in the Western economies."

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