1st Edition

Transition Engineering Building a Sustainable Future

By Susan Krumdieck Copyright 2020
    254 Pages 67 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    254 Pages 67 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Transition Engineering: Building a Sustainable Future examines new strategies emerging in response to the mega-issues of global climate change, decline in world oil supply, scarcity of key industrial minerals, and local environmental constraints. These issues pose challenges for organizations, businesses, and communities, and engineers will need to begin developing ideas and projects to implement the transition of engineered systems. This work presents a methodology for shifting away from unsustainable activities. Teaching the Transition Engineering approach and methodology is the focus of the text, and the concept is presented in a way that engineers can begin applying it in their work.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

    1 The Mega-Problems of Unsustainability

    1.1 Introduction: The Mega-Problems

    1.2 The Problem with Sustainable Development: It Isn’t Working

    1.3 Unsustainable Pollution: Global Warming and Climate Change

    1.4 Oil Supply and Peak Oil

    1.5 Discussion

    2 Problems of Unsustainability

    2.1 Review of Sustainability Principles

    2.2 Problems of Carrying Capacity and Resource Constraints

    2.3 Water and Land Requirements for Energy Production

    2.4 The Problems of Mineral Resource Depletion and Issues with Recycling

    2.5 Discussion

    3 Complexity and Communication

    3.1 Energy System Data and Communication

    3.2 Future Energy Scenarios and Pathways

    3.3 Corporate Responsibility

    3.4 Positive Approach to Difficult Problems

    3.5 Discussion

    4 Transition Engineering

    4.1 Defining the System and the InTIME Approach

    4.2 Step 1: Study History

    4.3 Step 2: Take Stock

    4.4 Step 3: Explore the Future

    4.5 Step 4: Time Travel

    4.6 Step 5: Backcast and Trigger

    4.7 Step 6: Down-Shift Project

    4.8 Step 7: System Transition

    4.9 Discussion

    5 InTIME Models and Methods

    5.1 The InTIME Workflow Structure

    5.2 Feedback Control Theory and Anthropogenic System Dynamics

    5.3 Development Vector Analysis

    5.4 Strategic Analysis of Complex Systems

    5.5 The Matrix Game

    5.6 Discussion

    6 Economic Decision Support

    6.1 Cost of Energy Production

    6.2 Environmental Costs

    6.3 Conventional Financial Analysis

    6.4 Discussion

    6.4.1 The Emperor’s New Clothes

    7 Transition Economics: Balancing Costs and Benefits

    7.1 Biophysical Economics

    7.2 Transition Economics and Financial Analysis

    7.3 Discussion

    7.3.1 Low-Hanging Fruit

    8 Conclusion and Discussion

    8.1 The Big Do

    8.2 The Final Story: Cassandra




    Susan Krumdieck is professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand where she has taught energy transition engineering for 17 years. She is the co-founder and a Trustee of the Global Association for Transition Engineering (GATE). Professor Krumdieck serves on the editorial board for six journals, including Energies, Energy Conservation & Management and Biophysical Economics, and she has edited special issues of Energy Policy, Energies, and Sustainability.

    "Here is a book that captures the essential energy crisis of dependency on fossil fuels at a time when dramatic change is urgently needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to avert the worst effects of climate instability. The book is accessible in style and uses imagery that illustrates the problems faced and the solutions available. Engineers need to increase their understanding of the huge challenges around energy that society faces, and this book helps with this understanding."

    Peter Guthrie, University of Cambridge, UK

    "Usually, the societal transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is discussed in terms of politics and investment. However, this historic shift also presents a huge and fascinating engineering challenge. Transition Engineering is a clear and useful guide to understanding technological issues in key aspects of energy production and usage, as they relate to a sustainable future. If you are interested in making a practical contribution to fighting climate change by redesigning industrial systems, you owe it to yourself to read this book."

    Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute, USA

    "If you want to be challenged in the way that you think about the future role of energy in an economy that seriously tries to address the problems of finite resource depletion and climate change, then expose yourself to this book’s provocative ideas on how engineering analysis can lead the way. It gets engineers to think as they are trained and inspires non-engineers to change their viewpoint and take action."

    Carey King, University of Texas at Austin, USA