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This course does an excellent job of thoroughly discussing various energy sources without being too technical. I have worked in oil & gas, nuclear, and dabbled in undergrad research in biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells. There was enough new information to keep me interested yet I would definitely also recommend this course to someone with a non technical background because it provides real facts and information without getting too far into the technical weeds. The lecturer is evenly paced and easy to understand. Overall, A+!
39 of 39 people found this review helpful
As the title indicates this is a very high level overview of the energy industry, technology and political concerns. If you have a background in this topic you might find it too cursory. I, not having a deep understanding of the topic, found lots of good information and leads for further study. The material was very approachable. One area I found particularly interesting was the comparisons of energy efficiency between the various types of power sources and what it takes to tap into that source. This gave me a better sense of why some fuel sources dominate currently and what factors would allow us to take up other sources such as renewables.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I bought this book with a hope of understanding more about the processes involved in recovering energy, and the strengths of the various resources and forms. It is such a hotly contested topic, which rarely comes with clean cut information, that it's easy to get a biased opinion on the area.
This certainly isn't the case here. The professor is very balanced, and from the start of the audiobook, he asks you to take the same approach, leaving aside any preconceptions. After introducing some basic physics (don't be put off here, it's very light), he then introduces the various energy forms one by one. For each form, he then describes the physical process involved in obtaining the energy and various aspects of this process (the efficiency, availability of production materials, safety, etc). It is easy to see how complex the picture is after just a couple of lectures, and to see that the strengths and weaknesses vary greatly. In particular, while it's clear that a move away from fossil fuels is desirable in the long run, the change is going to be slow, and he gives several reasons to suspect this.
By far, my favourite section was the 3 lectures on nuclear energy. The descriptions of the processes involved / challenges faced are really exciting, and I have no doubt I'll listen to this part of the book again. I also enjoyed various `thought experiments' he runs at several parts of the book, like `How much of the US land would be required obtain the entire countries energy needs from solar power?'.
I definitely think that the book has given me a bigger appreciation and understanding for the topic, and would recommend it to anyone who would like to know more. I should say, I found that some parts of the series require some effort, as the material is quite dry (unavoidably, I think) in some parts. I'm not saying that the whole book was a slog or anything, I'm definitely happy I read it, but it requires quite a lot of attention, as for the most part it is quite heavy on information.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
fascinating and brilliantly delivered lectures. great balance of general and detailed info on the uses and costs of energy.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful