Clean Energy, Climate and Carbon  book cover
1st Edition

Clean Energy, Climate and Carbon

ISBN 9780415621069
Published March 28, 2012 by CRC Press
232 Pages

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Book Description

With the general reader in mind, Clean Energy, Climate and Carbon outlines the global challenge of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. It covers the changing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide through time and its causes, before considering the promise and the limitations of a wide range of energy technologies for decreasing carbon dioxide emissions.

Despite the need to decrease carbon dioxide, the global use of fossil fuels is increasing and is likely to continue to do so for some decades to come. With this in mind, the book looks at the range of clean energy technologies and considers in detail, what for many people is the unfamiliar clean energy technology of carbon capture and storage (CCS). How can we capture carbon dioxide from flue gases? How do we transport it? How do we store it in suitable rocks? What are suitable rocks and where do we find them? How do we know the carbon dioxide will remain trapped once it is injected underground? What does CCS cost and how do those costs compare with other technology options?

The book also explores the political environment in which the discussion on clean energy technology options is occurring. What will a price on carbon do for technology uptake and what are the prospects of cutting our emissions by 2020 and of making even deeper cuts by 2050? What will the technology mix look like by that time?

For people who are concerned about climate change, or who want to learn more about clean energy technologies, including CCS, this is the definitive view of the opportunities and the challenges we face in decreasing emissions despite a seemingly inexorable global increase in energy demand.


Table of Contents


1 The context
Climate change science: the controversies
Global and national efforts to take action on climate change
About this book

2 CO2 and climate change
Greenhouse gases
The nature of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide and earth’s history
Weather versus climate
Causes of pre-human climate change
Distinguishing natural climate change from anthropogenic climate change
Sea level change as evidence for global warming
Global warming and extreme weather events
Act now or later?

3 Where and why are we producing so much CO2 ?
The production and use of energy and its impacts on CO2 emissions: an overview
The use of fossil fuels
Two key sectors: electricity production and transport

4 Technology options for decreasing CO2 emissions
Solar energy
Wind power
Hydroelectric power
Ocean energy
Geothermal energy
Nuclear power
Sequestering CO2 through carbon capture and storage (CCS)

5 The mitigation mix
Population growth and the energy mix
Biofuels in the mix
Land requirements of different technologies
Energy and water
Renewable energy in the energy mix
Non renewable energy in the energy mix
The energy mix in the medium to long term

6 Where and how can we capture CO2 ?
Directly removing CO2 from the atmosphere
Capturing CO2 emitted from various sources
CCS and gas production
CCS and coal and gas-fired power generation
Post combustion capture
CCS and gasification
CCS and industrial processes emitting CO2
Technologies for separating CO2 from emissions

7 How can we transport CO2 ?
Key issues in transportation of CO2 via pipelines
CO2 transportation by road, rail and sea
Reducing transportation costs: CO2 hubs

8 Storing CO2
Why geological storage over other forms of storage?
Identifying suitable geological CO2 storage sites: sedimentary basins
Features of a sedimentary basin that may make it suitable for storage
Storage of CO2 in depleted oil and gas fields
Storage in deep saline aquifers
Storage in coalsStorage in basalts
Storage in serpentinites
Assessing storage capacity
National assessments of storage potential

9 How do we know CCS will be effective?
The nature of risk assessment
Geological risk
Existing natural gas storage facilities
Natural accumulations of CO2
Knowledge derived from large scale commercial CO2 storage projects
Location-specific risk assessment: characterising the site
The risks of earthquakes
The risk to groundwater
The regulatory regime
A ‘social licence’ for CCS?

10 The cost of clean energy
The interplay of costs
The costs of capturing CO2 emissions from non-power source
Transport and associated costsStorage costs
Indicative total costs for CCS
Cost estimates derived from operational CCS activities
Costing uncertainty
Comparison costing

11 The technology and the politics of clean energy
Future strategies in a carbon constrained world
Achieving emissions reductions targets CCS in the clean energy mix
The policy settings
The impact of pricing carbon on clean energy technology uptake


Additional general reading

References to data sources


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Professor Peter Cook, CBE, FTSE, is a distinguished earth scientist with an outstanding international reputation and many publications on greenhouse gas, energy and resource issues to his credit, including as a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Special Volume of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. He was the Director of the British Geological Survey from 1990 to 1998 and until 2011 the CEO of CO2CRC, one of the world’s leading collaborative research bodies focused on greenhouse gas technologies. He is currently a consultant on energy and greenhouse issues, Senior Advisor to CO2CRC and Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne.


..., the book does provide an uncomplicated discussion of the issues and the various clean energy technologies that can assist in managing carbon dioxide emissions.

The book is easy to read with good basic information and some comments and observations that will provoke thought on the issues surrounding clean energy and the costly and relatively unproductive malaise that seems to be our current approach.
Frank van Schagen, Editor Energy Generation
APT - 1368 Energy Generation April-June 2012

[This is] a book for the general reader who wants to understand the science on this topic through the eyes of an intelligent author with great skills at clarifying exceptionally complex topics.

...the book is certainly not a sterile review of a collection of scientific papers. Indeed, the first two chapters on the climate change topic are filled with easy-to understand diagrams and photographs that clearly and carefully explain the phenomenon.

Professor Cook is to be congratulated in writing a book for the general reader who wants to be informed. It is perfect for this audience.
John Burgess
Chemistry in Australia, July 2012

Cook's writing is eloquent and, to a convert like me, persuasive. I hope that decision-makers will take note of his hard-headed advice about the way to produce deep cuts in our carbon emissions
Professor Ian Rae FTSE, Honorary Professorial Fellow University of Melbourne
Former Technical Director of ATSE, President of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (2006-08), and technical adviser to the United Nations Environment Program.

Focus, No 172 June 2012 – the Journal of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

This is an excellent introduction to many topics in the field of climate change, with a particular focus on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
Paul Fennell, chemistryworld, 9 October 2012