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Educational and Technological Approaches to Renewable Energy

Edited By Walter Leal Filho and Julia Gottwald

This book documents and disseminates a number of educational and technological approaches to renewable energy, with a special emphasis on European and Latin American experiences, but also presenting experiences from other parts of the world. It was prepared as part of the project JELARE (Joint European-Latin American Universities Renewable Energy Project), undertaken as part of the ALFA III Programme of the European Commission involving countries in Latin America (e.g. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala) as well as in Europe (Germany and Latvia). Thanks to its approach and structure, this book will prove useful to all those dedicated to the development of the renewable energy sector, especially those concerned with the problems posed by lack of expertise and lack of training in this field.

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Preface

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The search for the means to promote renewable energy is a matter of great inter- national concern, not only due to the high prices of conventional fossil fuels, but also because of the negative impacts of CO2 emissions on the world’s climate. Even though the theme “renewable energy” has been treated as a matter of mar- ginal relevance in the past, it is a key issue in the present and a matter whose relevance is likely to increase in the future. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, as the world population reaches the 7 billion mark, energy demands are expected to rise. Based on the forecasts on energy production, which seem to indicate that conventional fossil fuels will become less and less available, and – due to their progressive limitation – prices are likely to increase, there is a pressing need to look for alternatives to meet current and future energy needs, Secondly, if we are to find alternatives to fossil fuels, we need to find effec- tive means to produce energy from biomass, from the sun and wind. In this con- text, research on the one hand, but also concrete applications on the other, are greatly needed. According to the International Energy Agency (EIA), the world energy con- sumption is projected to grow by 50 percent between 2005 and 2030. Due to the fact that less fossil fuels will be available to meet such needs, there seems inevit- able that renewable energy sources will be used, to meet at least...

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