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Sustainable energy. No bad fumes’, an analysis of the current energy model and its possible alternatives.

The Public University of Navarra has published the book ‘Energía sostenible. Without bad fumes’, which updates and adapts David MacKay’s successful book ‘Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air’ to the case of Spain. This is an informative work, available to anyone, which analyzes the current situation and the possibilities that renewable energies have in Spain and proposes alternatives to the current energy model, in order to achieve a sustainable model in the medium term.


The book, available in paper format (at a price of 25€), is based on the work ‘Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air’, by David MacKay, updated and adapted to the case of Spain. It also includes technical appendices for those who want to learn more about the subject, as well as a website that includes additional information:

The book is divided into four parts. The first part answers the question: Can we live off our own sustainable energy sources? Our lifestyle is analysed to see which activities entail higher energy consumption (planes, cars, heating, manufacturing, food production, lighting, etc.). Then, technology by technology, the sustainable generation options are reviewed and the energy that each of them can provide is calculated in a simple way (land wind, sun, sea wind, water, etc).

The second part analyses how we can live from our own sustainable energies. In this sense, some energy generation plans are proposed, possible ways of saving energy are debated, some improvements are proposed and the situation in other regions of Spain and in the world is reviewed.

The third part, a set of technical appendices, is the one that provides more detailed calculations of each of the forms of energy generation and consumption, which allows us to clearly understand the limits of each technology.

Some of the questions answered in this work are: If we want to end our addiction to oil, coal and gas, what options do we have? How much renewable energy can be generated in Spain compared to our consumption? Can developed countries live on their own renewable energy? Can new technologies solve our problems with carbon dioxide (CO2)? How would the world plan to supply us with energy in a sustainable way?.

The authors of the work are seven researchers from the Public University of Navarra (UPNA): Javier Samanes, Julio Pascual, Alberto Berrueta, Miguel Araiz, Leyre Catalán, Patricia Aranguren and David Arricibita. As Pablo Sanchis, director of the Chair of Renewable Energies at the UPNA, points out in the prologue, “this book manages to explain in a simple but in-depth way aspects such as the main elements of consumption in today’s societies, energy resources and the viability of implementing new energy systems at world level (…) As its authors say, it tries to give numbers and not to use adjectives, in order to make the reader form his own opinion on this energy revolution of which, in one way or another, we are all going to be protagonists”.

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