Energy Systems and Sustainability

Boyle, Godfrey; Everett, Robert and Ramage, Janet eds. (2003). Energy Systems and Sustainability. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.



- The only text to provide a fresh, contemporary perspective on energy and sustainability for an undergraduate audience

- Includes extensive coverage of the important concepts and issues underpinning modern energy production

- Gives detailed descriptions of the main methods used to produce energy today

- Lavishly illustrated with full-colour photographs and diagrams

- Boxes throughout the text present in-depth case studies and further explanation of more advanced topics

- Written by an experienced and authoritative course team at the Open University

Today energy and sustainability are areas of primary concern. Energy Systems and Sustainability provides a thorough introduction to the economic, social, environmental and policy issues raised by current systems of energy use, as well as describing their key physical and engineering features.

The book begins with an introductory account of the present world energy situation. This is followed by chapters explaining basic energy concepts and describing the magnitudes and patterns of human energy needs.

The central part of the book deals with the historical evolution and present status of the conventional fossil and nuclear fuelled energy systems that, along with hydropower and traditional biofuels, currently supply the majority of the world's commercial energy needs. A section on economics describes the basic methods by which the monetary costs of energy are calculated, and discusses the issue of the 'external' costs of energy production.

The concluding sections then deal with the sustainability problems associated with both fossil and nuclear fuel use, and ways in which these might be ameliorated by various technological developments.

The interdisciplinary approach of the book will appeal not only to specialists but also to non-specialist readers who wish to improve their understanding of these complex and increasingly important issues.

This book will be an ideal companion to the forthcoming second edition of Renewable Energy by Godfrey Boyle, which deals with the different forms of renewable energy and how these can be utilised.


Undergraduates and postgraduates taking courses in energy, sustainable development, environmental subjects and architecture. Also suitable for non-specialists.


1. Introductory Overview , Godfrey Boyle

2. Primary Energy , Janet Ramage

3. Energy Needs , Bob Everett and Janet Ramage

4. Forms of Energy , Janet Ramage

5. Coal , Janet Ramage

6. Heat to Motive Power , Janet Ramage and Bob Everett

7. Oil and Gas , David Crabbe

8. Engines and Turbines , Janet Ramage, Bob Everett, David Crabbe

9. The Rise of Electric Power , Janet Ramage and Bob Everett

10. Principles of Nuclear Power , Janet Ramage

11. The Future of Nuclear Power , David Elliott

12. Principles of Energy Costing , Bob Everett

13. Penalties , Janet Ramage, Bob Everett, Stephen Peake, Godfrey Boyle

14. Remedies , Godfrey Boyle

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