Category Archives: Best Selling

Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy


Where does the energy we use come from? It’s absolutely vital to every single thing we do every  day, but for most people, it is utterly invisible. Flick a switch and the lights go on. It might as well be magic.

Science writer Jeremy Shere shows us in Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy that energy is anything but magical. Producing it in fossil fuel form is a dirty, expensive—but also hugely profitable— enterprise, with enormous but largely hidden costs to the entire planet. The cold, hard fact is that at some point we will have wrung the planet dry of easily accessible sources of fossil fuel. And when that time comes, humankind will have no choice but to turn—or, more accurately, return—to other, cleaner, renewable energy sources. What will those sources be? How far have we come to realizing the technologies that will make these sources available?

To find the answers, Shere began his journey with a tour of a traditional coal-fueled power plant in his home state of Indiana. He then continued on, traveling from coast to coast as he spoke to scientists, scholars and innovators. He immersed himself in the green energy world: visiting a solar farm at Denver’s airport, attending the Wind Power Expo and a wind farm tour in Texas, investigating turbines deep in New York City’s East River, and much more.

Arranged in five parts—Green Gas, Sun, Wind, Earth, and Water—Renewable tells the stories of the most interesting and promising types of renewable energy: namely, biofuel, solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. But unlike many books about alternative energy, Renewable is not obsessed with megawatts and tips for building home solar panels. Instead, Shere digs into the rich, surprisingly long histories of these technologies, bringing to life the pioneering scientists, inventors, and visionaries who blazed the way for solar, wind, hydro, and other forms of renewable power, and unearthing the curious involvement of great thinkers like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Nicola Tesla.

We are at an important crossroads in the history of renewable technologies. The possibilities are endless and enticing, and it has become increasingly clear that renewable energy is the way of the future. In Renewable, Jeremy Shere’s natural curiosity and serious research come together in an entertaining and informative guide to where renewable energy has been, where it is today, and where it’s heading.

Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual


Producing electricity from the sun using photovoltaic (PV) systems has become a major industry worldwide. But designing, installing and maintaining such systems requires knowledge and training, and there have been few easily accessible, comprehensive guides to the subject.

Now, with Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual, a world-class solar energy training and education provider—Solar Energy International (SEI)—has made available the critical information to successfully design, install and maintain PV systems. The book contains an overview of photovoltaic electricity and a detailed description of PV system components, including PV modules, batteries, controllers and inverters. It also includes chapters on sizing photovoltaic systems, analyzing sites and installing PV systems, as well as detailed appendices on PV system maintenance, troubleshooting and solar insolation data for over 300 sites around the world. Used worldwide as the textbook in SEI’s PV Design & Installation workshops, topics covered include:

The basics of solar electricity
PV applications and system components
Solar site analysis and mounting
Stand-alone and PV/generator hybrid system sizing
Utility-interactive PV systems
Component specification, system costs and economics
Case studies and safety issues

Photovoltaics guarantees that those wanting to learn the skills of tapping the sun’s energy can do so with confidence.

Solar Energy International (SEI) has the nonprofit mission to respond to the need for renewable energy education. Based in Carbondale, Colorado, and active around the world, SEI is a link between people and renewable energy resources, providing information, education and training to people who want to shape a sustainable future. SEI is recognized by the National Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as dedicated independent provider of PV training programs that may be used toward attaining PV certification. Also, SEI is recognized as an Accredited Institution to offer PV training by the Institute for Sustainable Power (ISP).

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America, Release 2.0


A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
Washington Post Best Book of the Year
Businessweek Best Business Book of the Year
Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year

In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America’s urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.

Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet–one that is “hot, flat, and crowded.”  In this Release 2.0 edition, he also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession.  The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy.  And it could inspire Americans to something we haven’t seen in a long time–nation-building in America–by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge–and the promise–of the future.