DeviceGuru writes: Sounds crazy, but as with all of University of Cambridge Prof. David J. C. MacKay's thinking, there's logic to back it up, along with a welcome dollop of British wit. His new book, "Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air" (available free online and in hard copy and released under a Creative Commons license), is a roadmap for kicking our fossil fuel habit. Along the way, MacKay demolishes "codswallop" arguments on both sides of the debate, and explains why tripling electricity demand is the solution. In MacKay's holistic approach, transportation and space heating move from fossil fuels to renewable electricity. The beauty of consuming very large amounts of extra electricity for transport and heating is that these two forms of demand are "easily-switch-off-and-on-able," MacKay says. A smart grid that controls vehicle charging and pumping into heat-stores matches demand to renewables' fluctuating supply, overcoming one of their biggest drawbacks. A recent review in Science magazine (PDF download) calls the book "a must-read analysis" and "found MacKay's book by turns exhilarating and terrifying."
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