The only renewable energy textbook focused on the energy transition.
Renewable Energy in the 21st Century (RE21) is designed around the idea that energy literacy is becoming a necessary skill in 21st Century society, and as such the writing and content is meant to ensure that this goal is attainable for students of all academic backgrounds.
RE21 is the only textbook to teach students about renewable energy from the perspective of the energy transition. With an introductory section on energy transition, a section on electricity and electrical grid management, in addition to individual chapters on each renewable energy technology, this textbook educates and excites students about the opportunities and the hope encompassed in the energy transition
Unlike current textbooks designed for engineering students that assumes advanced math skills, or those designed for non-technical sustainability courses, RE21 is the only textbook on the market that provides non-engineering students with in-depth energy primers, informing them on the major energy technologies, how these integrate with society, how to calculate energy/power output, and how each technology fits into a more renewable energy future. In short, students who use this textbook will become energy transition generalists – prepared to enter a developing renewable energy workforce that includes a diversifying job market.
Designed for interdisciplinary teaching.
Renewable Energy in the 21st Century (RE21) bridges the gap between textbooks designed for engineering students and more superficial texts designed for sustainability courses. It can easily be adapted for use within Environmental Sciences, Earth Science, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, and Natural Resources courses.
RE21 can be easily tailored for a perfect fit.
Use the tools built into the Trubooks platform to customize Renewable Energy in the 21st Century to meet the specific needs of your course, keep it relevant to local interests and in tune with relevant world events as they happen.
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All Trubooks, including Renewable Energy in the 21st Century (RE21), can be used offline with our Trunity Mobile App for iPad. The complete textbook can be loaded onto your device, or to save space, individual modules can be downloaded as needed. Of course, if you have internet access, then it is all there.
Section I: Energy Transition
+ A Brief History of Energy Transition
+ Energy Transition in the 21st Century
+ The Energy-Environment-Economy Connection
Section II: Energy Basics
Chapter 1: Energy Basics
+ Fundamental Forces
+ Energy, Work, and Force
+ Forms of Energy
+ The Laws of Thermodynamics
+ Energy Units
Chapter 2: Energy, Power, and Energy Quality
+ Energy and Power
+ Net Energy and Energy Return on Investment
+ Energy and Power Density
Section III: Electricity and Electrical Grid Systems
Chapter 3: Electricity and Power Generation
+ Electricity Basics
+ Direct and Alternating Current
+ Faraday's Law and Lenz's Law
+ Power Generation
+ Single vs. Three-Phase Power Generation
+ Power Plants
+ Electricity Consumption
Chapter 4: Electrical Grids
+ Electricity Grid Structure
+ Electricity Transmission and Distribution
+ History of Power Grid Management: North America
+ Two Models of Grid Management
+ Electrical Grid System Operation: Frequency and Inertia
+ Matching Supply and Demand: The NYISO Example
+ The Load Profile
+ Base, Peak, and Load-Following Generation
+ Renewable Energy and the Electrical Grid
Section IV: Energy Transition Technologies
Chapter 5: Solar Photovoltaics
+ From Sunlight to Electricity
+ Types of Solar Systems
+ Residential, Commercial and Utility Scale Solar
+ Types of PV Cells
+ Calculating Solar Power and Energy Potential
Chapter 6: Solar Thermal
+ Passive Solar
- Heat Transfer
- Calculating Conduction and Convection
- Principles of Passive Design
+ Active Solar
- Concentrated Solar Thermal Power
- Solar Thermal
Chapter 7: Wind Energy
+ The Origin of Wind
+ History of Wind Power
+ Types of Wind Turbines
+ Calculating Wind Power and Energy Potential
Chapter 8: Hydropower
+ Types of Hydropower
+ Hydropower Turbines
+ Calculating Hydro Power and Energy Potential
Chapter 9: Hydropower
+ Bioenergy Feedstocks
+ Biomass Conversion Processes and Technologies
- Corn Ethanol Production
- Wood for Heat and Power
- Landfill Gas and Anaerobic Digestion
+ Limitations of Bioenergy
+ Bioenergy Calculations
Chapter 10: Geothermal
+ Geothermal Electricity Production
+ Direct-Use and Geothermal Heat Pump Systems
+ Calculating the Efficiency of Heat Pumps
Lectures and Activities
How will you be different after taking this course?
What must you be able to think and do to be different after this course?
What must you be able to think and do to successfully complete the learning goals?
What must you be able to think and do to successfully complete each learning outcome?
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Wherever it is possible you will have auto-grading and can set personalized auto-feedback! You will love how easy and efficient it is to manage even a class of 300 students.
Your students will appreciate getting your feedback to their assignments and assessments directly in the context of the content.
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You'll find it easy to adapt this book to fit your syllabus and your teaching style. Or, you can simply use it as it is.
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Sharing the good stuff...
+ Make resources you create available for others to adopt!
❝ Renewable Energy in the 21st Century addresses an urgent educational need that has so far had very few answers: An accessible, up-to-date resource for understanding the rapid energy transition that is happening worldwide, without having to have a deep background in math and science. Traditional tools for teaching energy are simply not up to the task, especially since many students who will use this book to understand how the energy system is being transformed to combat climate change will not be going into traditional energy careers, but rather tackling the political economy issues that come with it. This is a vital resource that can equip all students, regardless of their interests, career directions, or educational backgrounds, to understand the most important challenge of our time: energy transition❞
Chris Nelder, Energy Futurist/Analyst/Writer/Speaker. Host of The Energy Transition Show.
And yes, he would be happy to speak with you! Check out the Author Q&A
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Environmental Studies Department, St. Lawrence University University
David Murphy teaches Introduction to Environmental Studies, Energy and the Environment, as well as a number of other courses on energy and economics.
Dr. Murphy’s work examines the intersection of three areas: energy, economy and the environment. He is an energy expert focused on understanding mega-trends within the energy industry, usually involving the integration of quantitative energy analytics, often in the form of energy return on investment, with policy and other economic analysis to derive whole-system trends and attributes.
Dr. Murphy came to the Environmental Studies department at St. Lawrence University from a joint position as a faculty member at Northern Illinois University and a research associate with Argonne National Laboratory. Over his career, Dr. Murphy has researched the intersection of energy, the environment, and economics.
He has also been featured on the podcast “The Energy Transition Show” with Chris Nelder and has written a number of op-eds and other media related work.
We asked David to share with us how this book came about...
The existing renewable energy textbooks fall into two categories. The first are those meant for graduate engineering students and therefore are technically and mathematically too sophisticated (and boring!) for most undergraduate and high school students. The second are those meant for students studying sustainability and only superficially discuss, for example, how a solar panel operates. What I wanted, and what I think most undergraduate, high school, and even interdisciplinary graduate students want, is a book that gives them enough knowledge about renewable energy to talk intelligently about how the technologies work, to do some basic math calculating power and energy outputs, and to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the integration of those technologies into the current energy mix. This book does just that. It is a primer on renewable energy, informing students about the major technologies, how they integrate with society, how to calculate energy/power output, and how each technology fits into a more renewable energy future.
My intention in writing this book was to allow for it to serve as the main text for a semester-long college level course on renewable energy. That said, the book could easily be adapted for use in upper-division high school courses, or as the main text for graduate courses. I have also added videos for instructors to help those adopting the textbook understand better how to translate this book to a course.
Since this textbook was born out of my needs in the classroom, I have included a few additional teacher materials for those who adopt the book. The first item is a blank syllabus, that includes both the assessments I use when teaching but also a basic weekly schedule that gives an instructor an idea of about how long I think it takes to teach each section of the book, considering that some topics are more easily learned than others. I also include a semester-long research project that I assign my students that allows them to take a deep-dive into one aspect of the energy transition.
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