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Publisher:
Roger Duncan Consulting

Publication Date:
N/A

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1-7344290-2

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
19.95

THE FUTURE OF BUILDINGS, TRANSPORTATION AND POWER

By Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber

IR_Star-black
IR Rating:
4.8
THE FUTURE OF BUILDINGS, TRANSPORTATION AND POWER, by engineer Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber, is a comprehensive, impressively researched and well-written overview of how technology and energy use may unfold in the near future.  
IR Approved

Why buildings, vehicles, and electricity generation? Because, write engineers Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber, these three sectors “account for more than 75 percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S., and the same is generally true worldwide.” The THE FUTURE OF BUILDINGS, TRANSPORTATION AND POWER is divided into four parts. The authors first deal with technology trends, with a focus on the impact of AI; then how buildings will become more energy-efficient through new materials and getting “smarter”; then transport, particularly fuel use; and finally how power use will change. The research is impressively extensive. Without letting details overburden their account, Duncan and Webber pull together the newest and pending development in the three sectors, providing an exciting account of what’s happening now and what may be possible within 30 years or so. They are mostly objective in their assessments, letting the facts decide whether solar power, for example, is all that the media generally tout it to be. (Spoiler: it isn’t.)

The technology concept they apply is the conversion of information intensity to efficiency. Building, transportation, and power generation will in the future “require less material, less motion, and less time.” However, they also point out a major caveat to Moore’s Law, which is generally ignored by those who cite the fact that computing has historically doubled every 18 months. While many people assume that this law is generally applicable to technology, Duncan and Webber note that that the exponential principle does not apply to ships, planes, automobiles, and power plants. This is because energy requirements scale up with certain technologies, which limits their growth potential. Solar power, for example, displays an exponential factor in price reduction but this does not reflect a corresponding increase in energy output.

In only two (related) areas do Duncan and Webber step outside the strict facts. At several points, they write as though government intervention is crucial to providing incentives for the development of alternative energy technologies; and such development, they concomitantly assert, is necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Not only does this elide market forces, but they take for granted that the “worst effects” are so dire that alternative energy use is absolutely necessary – a premise that is arguable. Still, the authors early on make the appropriate caveats about their ability to see the future. “While we expect many of our predictions to be wrong, we hope that pulling them together into one place and juxtaposing them against one another will be useful.” In this they have succeeded.

THE FUTURE OF BUILDINGS, TRANSPORTATION AND POWER, by engineer Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber, is a comprehensive, impressively researched and well-written overview of how technology and energy use may unfold in the near future.

~Kevin Baldeosingh for IndieReader

Publisher:
Roger Duncan Consulting

Publication Date:
N/A

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1-7344290-2

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
19.95

THE FUTURE OF BUILDINGS, TRANSPORTATION AND POWER

By Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber

THE FUTURE OF BUILDINGS, TRANSPORTATION, AND POWER, by Roger Duncan and Michael Webber, is a fascinating glimpse into the possible future of technology, engineering, and the environment. The authors simplify complex concepts down into understandable parts, presenting them in three well-organized sections. The writing is crisp, clear, and is well-sourced where appropriate.