Energy Cynosure -- Alternative Energy Bibliography

The following Internet resources might provide you with a better understanding of the technologies involved in alternative energies. They are organized by types of energy:

In addition, there are government initiatives to work toward our energy independence.

Wind Turbine Farm


Return to Energy Cynosure Page
Name of Group/Site Summary Web site
AgMRC: Biomass "Biomass refers to organic matter that can be converted to energy. Some of the most common biomass fuels are wood, agricultural residues and crops grown specifically for energy." Discusses uses of biomass materials such as hay, industrial hemp, meadowfoam, switchgrass, and sawdust and wood shavings. Includes links to related sites. From the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) at Iowa State University.


Name of Group/Site Summary Web site
Bureau of Land Management: Energy Overview of U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) energy projects and programs concerning oil and gas, coal, geothermal, wind energy, rights-of-way, oil shale and tar sands, solar energy, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Includes publications, announcements, and links to BLM state energy pages. From the BLM, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Clean Power Estimator Site of the evaluation software program that provides "California residential and commercial electric customers a personalized estimate of the costs and benefits of investing in a photovoltaic (PV) solar or small wind electric generation system." From the California Energy Commission. http://www.consumer
A Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy "Explore your options for saving energy and using renewable energy at home, at work, in your community, and while driving." Topics include appliances and electronics, remodeling, electricity (and solar and wind turbine systems), heating, lighting, alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles, and more. Includes resources for finding products and background about renewable energy sources such as biomass and ocean. From the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy "A gateway to hundreds of Web sites and thousands of online documents on energy efficiency and renewable energy," including information about buildings, transportation, industry, bioenergy, hydrogen, solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, and geothermal power. Features consumer information, an "energy lab" for children, and information about the various other programs of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Searchable.
Energy Tutorial A browsable overview of energy sources, featuring photographs, statistics, and quizzes. Topics include fossil fuels, oil shale, nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and wastes, hydroelectric, fuel cell, combustion, gasification, reciprocating engine, and turbines. Also explores environmental impacts and trends. From the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC), University of California, Irvine.
Harvesting Clean Energy Focusing on wind power, biomass power and fuel, solar power for watering stock, and geothermal heating, this site serves "as a clearinghouse for making energy projects happen in Washington [state], Oregon, Montana and Idaho." The site includes information about policies and incentives, questions and answers about alternative energy, and other resources for Northwest rural farmers and landowners. http://www.harvestcleanenergy.
Home Resource Efficiency Consumer guide to sustainable and energy-efficient home design, with fact sheets on appliances and lighting, home cooling, household greenhouse gas emissions, water efficiency, construction of new homes, environmentally friendly building materials, renewable energy (such as solar and wind power), indoor air quality, and recycling. From the Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy policy research organization.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) NREL "is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy's effort to secure an energy future for the nation that is environmentally and economically sustainable." It is "the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency R&D." The site features updates and publications about research and development programs in areas such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydrogen and fuel cells. Also includes materials about applying technologies in building, transportation, and infrastructure.
Renewable Resource Data Center This U.S. Dept. of Energy-sponsored resource contains data relating to natural energy sources such as solar radiation, biomass, geothermal, and wind power. There's an illustrated glossary of alternative energy-related terms, and links to projects and information for students and teachers. Consumers preparing to install solar panels can estimate their savings by using the "PVWatts" link, which calculates the electricity produced by any photovoltaic solar system.
Return to Top

Solar Energy

Name of Group/Site Summary Web site
American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Site of a national organization "dedicated to advancing the use of solar energy for the benefit of U.S. citizens and the global environment." See "Solar Guide" for "an introduction to solar energy technologies."
The California Solar Initiative Details about the California Solar Initiative, a 10-year, $2.9 billion state program (approved in January 2006) that has the goal of increasing "the amount of installed solar capacity on rooftops in the state by 3,000 MW [megawatts] by 2017." Provides a fact sheet on the program, the complete proposal, and related reports and documents. From the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). [maybe we can glean some ideas from California] http://www.gosolar
FEMP [Federal Energy Management Program] Designated Product: Gas Water Heaters Consumer information about gas water heaters, covering efficiency recommendations, cost effectiveness, technology options (such as demand-type and solar assisted water heaters), and other tips for buying and using water heaters. Includes a cost calculator. From the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Northern California Solar Energy Association This goal of this California organization is "to foster the development and application of solar energy technology through the exchange of information." Its site features a resource guide with "the basics of solar electric and hot water, solar access laws, lighting, passive design, financial analyses, and contacts for many of the local businesses and non-profit groups involved in solar, sustainability, energy efficiency, and other renewable energy issues." Also includes news and links to related sites. [maybe we can glean some ideas from California]
Northwest Solar Center (NWSC) Maintained on a solar-powered server, this site offers information about the use of solar energy in the Pacific Northwest. Features a FAQ about solar energy and net metering ("measures the difference between the electricity you buy from your utility and the electricity you produce using your own generating equipment"), case studies, fact sheets, and other publications on solar energy. A project of Washington State University. [Maybe we can learn from Washington as well.] http://www.northwest
Photovoltaics for Buildings: New Applications and Lessons Learned Information about photovoltaics, or solar electricity, for residential and commercial buildings. Discusses the basics of a solar electricity system, how solar cells work, building design, technology, and financing and incentives. Includes featured projects and related resources. Opens directly into a PDF file. From the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
RoofRay This website allows users to model roof solar arrays and determine monthly solar energy potential and perform a financial analysis of the system. The "Shedding Light" features nearby sample solar arrays entered in the system. A blog contains updates about features of the site, which was launched in August 2008.
The Solar Cooking Archive A sizable collection of resources about marshaling the sun's heat for the specific purpose of cooking. Chefs can find easy-to-build designs for energy efficient solar cookers and a directory of manufacturers of ready-made ovens. There is a model alternative energy science project, a bibliography of cookbooks and technical handbooks, a searchable discussion group, and articles reporting on the use and benefits of off the grid solar cooking and water pasteurization in developing nations worldwide.
WSU Energy Program Publications Collection of research publications on topics related to energy use in Washington state and in general. Includes publications such as "Indoor Air Quality in Northwest Schools," state-specific geothermal development guides, Washington state solar electricity fact sheets, and residential energy efficiency tips. From the Washington State University Energy Program.
Return to Top

Wind Power

Name of Group/Site Summary Web site
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) "The mission of the American Wind Energy Association is to promote wind power growth through advocacy, communication, and education." Provides news, publications, legislative and policy actions, membership, small wind-powered electrical systems for homes, farms, small business, and much more.
Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program This program exists to "improve wind energy technology so that it can generate competitive electricity in areas with lower wind resources, and to develop new, cost-effective, advanced hydropower technologies." Provides overviews of how wind power and hydropower works, and explores the history and advantages and disadvantages of each. Also features publications, photographs, and related links. From the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Wind Power in the United States: Technology, Economic, and Policy Issues This June 2008 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report provides background about power generated from wind, and discusses economics, technology, and other policy topics related to wind energy. Includes graphics, charts and graphs, and an appendix on financial analysis methodology and assumptions. Opens directly into a PDF file. From the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Note: "The Congressional Research Service does not make its publications directly available online."
Wind Resource Information This page compiles links to National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) resources on wind energy, including wind resource maps, meteorological field measurements at wind turbine sites, and related tools and research. From the NREL.
Return to Top

Government Initiatives

Name of Group/Site Summary Web site
Office of Energy Independence (WI)

Achieving 25 x 25
In July 2006, Governor Jim Doyle made an historic announcement, the “Declaration of Energy Independence” which charts a new course for clean energy in Wisconsin. A few months later, in April of 2007, Governor Doyle issued Executive Order 192 creating the Office of Energy Independence (OEI) to lead the state’s effort to advance clean energy and bioproducts. This was the beginning of an effort to become the nation’s leader in the drive toward energy independence, moving us away from our addiction on foreign oil.

The OEI is committed to supporting Wisconsin's goal of generating 25% of its electric power and transportation fuels from renewable resources by 2025, capturing 10% of the emerging bioindustry and renewable energy market by 2030, and leading the nation in groundbreaking research that will make clean energy more affordable and will create good paying Wisconsin jobs.

President-Elect Obama's members of the Energy and Environment Transition Team

To give you a behind the scenes look at the Transition and to see in greater depth how the team is approaching climate issues, the web site provides a film of this meeting of their Energy & Environment Policy Transition Team and interview with team member Heather Zichal.

On this site, you will also find a link to a blog on energy and global warming issues, a place where you can voice your opinion.
Return to Top