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Powering the dream : the history and promise of green technology / Alexis Madrigal.

By: Madrigal, Alexis, 1982-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, c2011Description: xiv, 365 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., facsims., ports. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780306818851 (hardback); 030681885X (hardback).Subject(s): Renewable energy sources -- Research -- United States -- History | Renewable energy sources -- Forecasting | Sustainable engineering -- United States -- History | Sustainable engineering -- ForecastingDDC classification: Other classification: SCI000000 | TEC000000
Contents:
1: The dream of a more perfect power -- Profit, salvation -- The first green-technology futurist -- The utopia commercial -- Prescribing for the globe itself -- 2: What was -- Steam-powered America -- The wind and the West -- The parable of Petrolia -- Wave motors and airplanes -- Compressed air and electricity -- 3: What might have been -- The National Electric Transportation System that almost was -- Solar hot water, day and night -- The solar home of the 1950s -- The Solar Energy Research Institute -- The meaning of Luz -- How to burn a biological library -- 4: Lessons from the Great Energy Rethink -- What happens when an energy system breaks -- Thermodynamics -- Transcendentalism -- Tools -- Technology -- 5: Innovation and the future -- Google's RE < C challenge -- The first megawatt and failing smart -- What green tech can learn from nuclear power's rise and fall -- The 5-cent turbine and the siren call of the breakthrough -- Energy storage and the return of compressed air -- "Throw software at the problem" -- Rehumanizing environmentalism.
Summary: This book looks at the history of alternative energy including solar and wind power. In it the author explores both the forgotten history and the visionary future of America's green technology inventors. Few today realize that electric cabs dominated Manhattan's streets in the 1890s; that solar water heating boomed in California before the first World War, that Boise, Idaho, had a geothermal heating system in 1910; or that the first megawatt turbine in the world was built in 1941 by the son of publishing magnate G.P. Putnam, a feat that would not be duplicated for another forty years. Likewise, while many remember the oil embargo of the 1970s, few are aware that it led to a corresponding explosion in green technology research that was only derailed when energy prices later dropped. In other words: we have been here before. Although we may have failed, America has long had the chance to put our world on a more sustainable path. Americans have, in fact, been inventing green for more than a century. Half compendium of lost opportunities, half hopeful look toward the future, this book tells the stories of the brilliant, often irascible inventors who foresaw our current problems, tried to invent cheap and energy renewable solutions, and drew the blueprint for a green future. -- From book jacket and publisher.Summary: "This book looks at the history of alternative energy (solar, wind)"--Provided by publisher.
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Book Science Museum London
Dana Research Centre Library: Books
Science & Technology Studies Collection 620.9:93 MADRIGAL (Browse shelf) Available 2402581891
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620.9:93 HUNTER A history of industrial power in the United States, 1780-1930. 620.9:93 HUNTER A history of industrial power in the United States, 1780-1930. 620.9:93 LIU Smart energy : 620.9:93 MADRIGAL Powering the dream : 620.9:93 NYE Consuming power : 620.9:93 PERLIN Let it shine : 620.9:93 SORENSEN A history of energy :

Includes bibliographical references and index.

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