An easy read, balancing the pros and cons, this book surveys the energy issue from a broad scientific perspective while considering environmental, ecomic, and social factors. It explains the basic concepts, provides a historical overview of energy resources, assesses our unsustainable energy system based on fossil fuels, and shows that the energy crisis is t only a tough challenge, but also an unprecedented opportunity to become more concerned about the world in which we live and the society we have built up. By outlining the alternatives for today and the future, it gives an extensive overview on nuclear energy, solar thermal and photovoltaics, solar fuels, wind power, ocean energies and other renewables, highlighting the increasing importance of electricity and the long-term perspectives of a hydrogen-based ecomy. An excellent source of updated and carefully documented information on the entangled aspects of the energy issue, this book is a guide for scientists, students and teachers looking for ways out of the energy and climate crisis, and the problems and disparities generated during the fossil fuel era.
Nicola Armaroli got his PhD in chemical sciences in 1994 from the University of Bologna. After post-doctoral studies in the U.S. and Italy, in 1997 he joined the Italian National Research Council (CNR), where he his currently senior research scientist. He has published three books and over 150 papers, giving tens of lectures worldwide. His current research is concerned with the photochemistry and photophysics of coordination compounds, carbon nanostructures and supramolecular materials, with focus on luminescence and photoinduced energy- and electron-transfer. This work is of interest both in fundamental science and technological applications, such as solar energy conversion and lighting devices. Vincenzo Balzani gained his chemistry degree in 1960 from the University of Bologna, where he has been Professor of Chemistry since 1973. He has been a visiting Professor in Canada, Israel, France and Belgium, headed various scientific committees and institutes and has held over 300 lectures worldwide. Alongside his membership of several editorial boards, Prof. Balzani has six books and over 500 papers to his name. He is a fellow of numerous societies, and has won many awards around the world. His research interests include photochemistry, photophysics, supramolecular chemistry, electron transfer reactions, molecular-level devices and machines, molecular nanotechnology, and photochemical solar energy conversion.