Electricity, the lifeblood of industrial society, powers an increasing variety of human activities. In despite of measures to improve energy efficiency, global demand for electrical power will likely continue to grow in decades to come. While electricity in itself is a clean and convenient energy carrier, its production is laden with environmental, social and political problems. This calls for a radical transformation from fossil and nuclear to renewable sources of electrical power.
A transition to renewables, however, is not without problems. Numerous questions demand an answer: if there is enough renewable energy to replace all non-renewables; what environmental impact that may be caused by the production and use of novel types of power plants; how supply and demand of electricity is balanced when large amount of intermittent power is connected to the grid; how the political power of the incumbent industry is balanced by other forces; and what is required from policy makers and investors to build large new systems.
There is not one final answer to questions like these. However, studying renewable power from different systems perspectives can help out in killing myths, clarifying controversies, deepening understanding and formulating new and more precise questions. The sixteen chapters of Systems Perspectives on Renewable Power 2014 address different topics related to the profound question whether electricity, and eventually all energy, can and should be supplied from renewable energy sources, and what is required to realise such a future.
Systems Perspectives on Renewable Power is an evolving ebook with annual updates. You may also want to read Systems Perspectives on Electromobility and Systems Perspectives on Biorefineries.