Best Reading on Renewable Energy

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istockphoto/viorika prikhodko
Learn more about renewable energy with these helpful books.

The topic of alternative energy can be confusing. Fortunately, some of the best minds in the field have condensed their decades of research and innovation into an easily accessible form — books.

Whether you are interested in home-produced power, the lifespan of our nation’s energy resources, simple steps to saving energy or general information on alternative and renewable energy, the books listed below will give you great information to make wise choices.

If you are considering any kind of alternative energy products or systems for your home, Real GoodsSolar Living Source Book is the best encyclopedia of tips, technologies, sources and products regarding wind, water, wood, solar and geothermal. You can find explanations of how sun shine, wind and water are harnessed for usable energy, as well as products such as a solar oven or homestead hydropower system. Another good general guide is Dan Chiras’ The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy: Achieving energy independence through solar, wind, biomass and hydropower.

Understanding the nuts and bolts of renewable energy is as important as knowing how these systems interface with grid-tied energy. The following books were written by experts who know how to install renewable energy systems, how the systems impact the environment, the long-term effects and costs of the technology, and the history of energy production and major players involved.

From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The complete guide to using vegetable oil as an alternative fuel, by Joshua Tickell

Got Sun? Go Solar: Get free renewable energy to power your grid-tied home, by Rex Ewing and Doug Pratt

Consumer Guide to Solar Energy: New ways to lower utility costs, cut taxes and take control of your energy needs, by Scott Sklar and Kenneth Sheinkopf

The Renewable Energy Handbook: A guide to rural energy independence, off-grid and sustainable living, by William Kemp

Smart Power: An urban guide to renewable energy and efficiency, by William Kemp

The Party’s Over: Oil, war and the fate of industrial societies, by Richard Heinberg

Energy at the Crossroads: Global perspectives and uncertainties, by Vaclav Smil

Microhydro: Clean power from water, by Scott Davis

Many books on these topics can be found in the Renewable Energy section on our Web site. Click here to read dozens of free articles on Renewable Energy.

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