Sustainable Energy

Sustainable Energy

Choosing Among Options

By Jefferson W. Tester, Elisabeth M. Drake, Michael J. Driscoll, Michael W. Golay and William A. Peters

Evaluates trade-offs and uncertainties inherent in achieving sustainable energy, analyzes the major energy technologies, and provides a framework for assessing policy options.





Evaluates trade-offs and uncertainties inherent in achieving sustainable energy, analyzes the major energy technologies, and provides a framework for assessing policy options.

Human survival depends on a continuing energy supply, but the need for ever-increasing amounts of energy poses a dilemma: How can we provide the benefits of energy to the population of the globe without damaging the environment, negatively affecting social stability, or threatening the well-being of future generations? The solution will lie in finding sustainable energy sources and more efficient means of converting and utilizing energy. This textbook is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students as well as others who have an interest in exploring energy resource options and technologies with a view toward achieving sustainability. It clearly presents the trade-offs and uncertainties inherent in evaluating and choosing different energy options and provides a framework for assessing policy solutions.

Sustainable Energy includes illustrative examples, problems, references for further reading, and links to relevant Web sites. Outside the classroom, the book is a resource for government, industry, and nonprofit organizations. The first six chapters provide the tools for making informed energy choices. They examine the broader aspects of energy use, including resource estimation, environmental effects, and economic evaluations. Chapters 7-15 review the main energy sources of today and tomorrow, including fossil fuels, nuclear power, biomass, geothermal energy, hydropower, wind energy, and solar energy, examining their technologies, environmental impacts, and economics. The remaining chapters treat energy storage, transmission, and distribution; the electric power sector; transportation; industrial energy usage; commercial and residential buildings; and synergistic complex systems. Sustainable Energy addresses the challenges of integrating diverse factors and the importance for future generations of the energy choices we make today.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262201537 872 pp. | 7 in x 10 in 223 illus.


  • This book with its references and links is an excellent source text for anyone considering a course on energy options for the future and for anyone else interested in understanding the science and argument which underlie the debate on energy options for a sustainable future.

    International Journal of Environmental Studies


  • For some time I have searched for a comprehensive text on sustainable energy, and I have found it here. This book by Jefferson Tester and his colleagues will be the field's benchmark in the future. It is wonderfully broad in scope, yet detailed in its presentation of the material.

    Fred K. Browand

    Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California

  • Sustainable Energy provides the intellectual tools and perspectives needed to devise a sound strategy for ensuring sustainability.

    Jack Gibbons

    former Presidential Science Advisor and former Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

  • At last, sustainable energy can be taught from a single textbook one that is balanced, worldly, comprehensive, and challenging. Watch out, teachers! Science and engineering students are going to demand courses that use this book.

    Robert Socolow

    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University