Selected Publications, Reference Material, and Textbooks

Basic Energy and Environment References and Textbooks
Multilateral Agreements
Basic Statistical Sources
Real-Time Electricity Data
Renewable Energy Technologies
Energy Futures and Distributed Generation
Renewable Energy Markets Historical References
Renewable Energy and Fossil-Fuel Price Risk


Note: the tag GOOD AS TEXTBOOK has been added to some of the links below to indicate that the website author believes this reference is especially suited to a teaching context.

State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability, Robert Engelman et al. (Island Press, Washington, DC: 2015). Worldwatch Institute's annual State of the World series is a long-standing classic that covers the full range of environmental issues and solutions.

Renewables: A Review of Sustainable Energy Supply Options, David Elliott (the Institute of Physics and the Open University: 2013), 190 pp. Reviews the basic technological options and how renewable technologies are being implemented and used around the world. Also considers local environmental impacts and the need to deal with the variability of some renewable energy sources.

Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA, 2012), 1884 pp. A tremendous free PDF resource that exhaustively covers all aspects of energy and environment. One must read this selectively to get the basics, as it also provides lots of details, numbers, and regional differentiation. Examines major global challenges and their linkages to energy; the technologies and resources available for providing adequate, modern, and affordable forms of energy; the plausible structure of future energy systems most suited to addressing the century's challenges; and the policies, measures, institutions, and capacities needed to realize sustainable energy futures. GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future (Third Edition), Godfrey Boyle, editor (Oxford University Press and the Open University: 2012), 584 pp. Undergraduate course textbook on renewable energy technologies, science, economics, environmental impacts, and market issues. Used by the Open University for distance learning. An update to the 2004 edition (below). GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options (Second Edition), JW Tester, EM Drake, MG Driscoll, MW Golay, and WA Peters (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 1035 pp. An excellent and comprehensive textbook, more technical and engineering oriented than others (some equations), but with many useful chapters on energy and environment concepts that non-engineers can well understand. GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation Special Report, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge/New York, NY: IPCC, 2011), 1075 pp. Aims to impartially assess the scientific literature on the potential role of renewable energy sources in the mitigation of climate change. Extensively covers all renewables technologies. Reviews 164 scenarios and finds that the majority indicates a substantial increase in the deployment of renewables by 2030, 2050 and beyond.

Energy Systems and Sustainability: Power for a Sustainable Future (Second Edition), Godfrey Boyle, Bob Everett, Stephen Peake, and Janet Ramage, editors (Oxford University Press and the Open University, 2011), 672 pp. Undergraduate course textbook on energy supply and demand patterns, science, technologies, costs, environmental impacts, and social issues. Used by the Open University for distance learning. GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, Amory B. Lovins/Rocky Mountain Institute (Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont, 2011), 352 pp.This covers all aspects of energy efficiency and renewable energy by sector: industry, buildings, transport, and power grids. Intended as a future-oriented scenario/vision, the book also serves as a distilled summary of the energy understanding gained during the five-decade distinguished career of Amory Lovins, who first wrote "Soft Energy Paths" in 1973. In that respect it can serve well as a classroom textbook. GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

Energy, Environment and Development (Second Edition), Jose Goldemberg and Oswaldo Lucon (Earthscan, New York, NY: 2010), 480 pp. An update to the 1995 edition (below). GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

A Renewable World: Energy, Ecology, Equality, H Girardet and M Mendonca (Devon, UK: Green Books, 2009), 256 pp. A free PDF download covering renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change, and local city action, good treatment of a full range of topics. Not an academic book but still quite good for teaching. GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

Energy for Sustainability: Technology, Planning, Policy, John Randolph and Gilbert M. Masters (Island Press, Washington DC, 2008), 790 pp. Excellent textbook on all aspects of sustainable energy, still relevant today except for the few current statistics. GOOD AS TEXTBOOK

World Energy Assessment: 2004 Update, Jose Goldemberg and Thomas B. Johansson, editors (UN Development Programme, New York: 2004), 85 pp. An update to the 2000 edition (below).

The Earth Policy Reader, Lester R. Brown, Janet Larsen, and Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts, Earth Policy Institute (W.W. Norton, New York: 2002), 303 pp. A wide range of environment and policy topics, including climate change, water, population, forests, and discussion of future wind/hydrogen energy economy.

Technologies, Policies and Measures for Mitigating Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by Robert T. Watson, Marufu C. Zinyowera, and Richard H. Moss (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK: 2001), 84 pp. Good summary of technology and policy options.

G8 Renewable Energy Task Force Final Report (2001). 51 pp. Multilateral effort to develop a common renewable energy promotion framework produced a report on background and policy options. There is also a separate set of detailed annexes.

World Energy Assessment: Energy and the Challenge of Sustainability, UN Development Program, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and World Energy Council, edited by Jose Goldemberg (UN Development Program, New York: 2000), 508 pp. Comprehensive look by teams of dozens of authors at all dimensions of energy: technical, economic, social, environmental, security, economic, resources, future scenarios, rural energy, and policy. Essentially superseded by the 2012 Global Energy Assessment (above).

Energy in the twentieth century: resources, conversions, costs, uses, and consequences, Vaclav Smil, Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 25: 21-51 (2000).

The UNDP website contains several good general publications, as well as links to an extensive Energy & Environment for Sustainable Development Library.

Rural Energy and Development for Two Billion People, World Bank (Washington, DC: 1996). Emphasizes link between energy services and rural poverty, and considers different rural energy options for 2 billion people still unserved by electricity and other "modern" forms of energy. A classic, still very relevant.

Energy, Environment and Development (First Edition), Jose Goldemberg (Earthscan, London: 1996), 192 pp. Classic reference on linkage between energy and development, and look at local, regional, and global environmental impacts.


Agenda 21: Earth Summit--The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio, United Nations (New York: 1993), 294 pp.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations (New York: 1992), 25 pp.

Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations (New York: 1997), 21 pp.

Paris Agreement COP21, United Nations (New Yow York: 2015), 32 pp.


Note: statistical sources often lag a year or more behind the data they report, some as much as three years. The quickest sources are the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, and some of the International Energy Agency and U.S. Department of Energy Information Adiministration publications.


Renewables Information 2015--with 2014 data, International Energy Agency (Paris: 2015). Provides comprehensive statistics on renewable energy supply, for all OECD countries.

In addition, the International Energy Agency offers Statistics Services, and also publishes an annual publication for Electricity Information and Key World Energy Statistics.

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 (London: 2015). The best set of world energy statistics by country for conventional energy forms and large hydro. Since the 2008 edition, BP began to cover non-hydro renewables.

Observ'ER Worldwide Electricity Production from Renewable Energy Sources Fifteenth Inventory (in partnership with EDF and Fondation Energies pour le Monde) (Paris: 2013). A very good inventory of renewable electricity around the world. Includes information for each technology, and provides many recent data for over 85 countries.

REN21 Interactive Map, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century. Provides renewable energy information such as policies, targets, shares, or installed capacity which can be searched by technology, sector, and country.

RESOURCE, International Renewable Energy Agency. Gives a brief comprehensive picture of the situation of renewable energy in the different parts of the world, by providing information and data on energy supply, electrical capacity, energy access, policies, and targets.

International Energy Statistics Portal, U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. Comprehensive international energy statistics.

World Development Indicators 2015, World Bank (Washington, DC: 2015). Population, development, environment, and energy statistics, by country with world and regional totals.

World Resources 2010-2011: Decision Making in a Changing Climate, UN Development Program, UN Environment Program, World Bank, and World Resources Institute (Washington, DC: 2011). Statistics and articles on worldwide energy resources and environmental conditions.

Regional and National

Australia: Clean Energy Australia Report 2014, Clean Energy Council (Melbourne: 2015). Comprehensive overview of the Australian renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors from 2014. Provides key figures and statistics.

Brazil: Power Generation Data Bank (Banco de Informacoes de Geracao), in Portuguese, National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL). Brazil electricity statistics and diagrams.

China: Data/Statistics, China Electricity Council. China electricity statistics.

Denmark: Annual Energy Statistics, Danish Energy Agency. Denmark energy statistics.

Europe/European Union: Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption, Eurostat. European Union renewable energy table, graph, and map.
Electricity production and supply statistics, Eurostat. Comprehensive overview of the European Union electricity sector from 2014. Provides key figures and statistics.
Statistical Pocket Book 2015, European Commission (Luxembourg, 2015). Comprehensive overview of the European Union energy sector. Provides key figures and statistics.
The State of Renewable Energies in Europe 14th Report, EurObserv'ER (Paris, 2014). Comprehensive overview of the European renewable energy sector. Provides key figures and statistics.
And A Sector in Transformation: Electricity Industry Trends and Figures, Union of the Electricity Industry - EURELECTRIC (Brussels, 2015). Europe electricity statistics and diagrams.

France: Renewable Energy Key Statistics 2014, in French, Commissariat General au Developpement Durable (Paris-La Defense, France: 2014). Comprehensive overview of the French renewable energy sector from 2012. Provides key figures and statistics.
And 2014 Annual Electricity Report, in French, Reseau de Transport d'Electricite (Paris-La Defense, France: 2015). Comprehensive overview of the French electricity sector from 2012. Provides key figures and statistics.

Germany: Development of Renewable Energy Sources in Germany 2014, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Berlin: 2015). Comprehensive overview of the German renewable energy sector from 2014. Provides key figures and statistics.

Iceland: Energy Statistics, Orkustofnun National Energy Authority. Iceland energy statistics.

India: Achievements New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. India renewable energy statistics.
And Reports, Central Electricity Authority. India electricity statistics.

Italy: Rapporti Statistici, in Italian, Gestore Servizi Energetici. Italy renewable energy statistics and diagrams.
And Statistical Data, Terna. Italy electricity statistics.

Japan: Renewables 2015 Japan Status Report, in Japanese, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (Tokyo: 2015). Comprehensive overview of the Japanese renewable energy sector from 2014. Provides key figures and statistics.
And Renewable Energy Statistics in Japan Portal Site, Japan Renewable Energy Foundation. Up-to-date Japan renewable energy statistics and diagrams.

Kenya: 2013/2014 Annual Report and Financial Statements, Kenya Power and Lighting Company (Nairobi: 2014). Overview of the Kenyan electricity sector. Provides figures and statistics.

New Zealand: Renewables, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. New Zealand renewable energy statistics and diagrams.

Nicaragua: Estatisticas, in Spanish, Instituto Nicaraguense de Energia. Nicaragua electricity statistics.

Portugal: Estatisticas e Precos-Energias Renovaveis, in Portuguese, Direcao Geral de Energia e Geologia. Portugal renewable energy statistics.

South Africa: Electricity generated and available for distribution 2014, Statistics South Africa. South Africa electricy statistics.

Spain: The Spanish Electricity System 2014, Red Electrica de Espana (Madrid: 2015). Comprehensive overview of the Spanish electricity sector from 2014. Provides key figures and statistics.

Sweden: Energy in Sweden - Facts and Figures 2015, Swedish Energy Agency. Sweden energy statistics.

United Kingdom: Renewables Statistics, United Kingdom Department of Energy & Climate Change. United Kingdom renewable energy statistics.
And Electricity Statistics, United Kingdom Department of Energy & Climate Change. United Kingdom electricity statistics.

United States: Electric Power Monthly, United States Department of Energy Energy Information Administration.United States energy statistics.
2013 Renewable Energy Data Book, U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, prepared by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO: released December 2014). Provides facts and figures on renewable electricity, renewable energy development and clean energy investments.
And Monthly Energy Review, U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. Comprehensive U.S. energy statistics and diagrams updated monthly.


California: Today's Outlook, California System Operator.

Europe: Transparency platform, European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.

France: Eco2mix, Reseau de Transport d'Electricite.

Germany: Electricity production in Germany, Fraunhofer ISE.

Italy: Fabbisogno energetico, Terna.

Spain: Real-time demand and generation, Red Electrica de Espana.

Sweden: The control room, Svenska Kraftnat.

United Kingdom: U.K. National Grid Status, Gridwatch (data courtesy of BM Reports).


"Renewable Energy Essentials" series by the International Energy Agency, for biofuel production, biomass for power generation and CHP, geothermal, hydropower, concentrating solar thermal power, solar heating and cooling, and wind, plus information contained in the "technology roadmaps."

"Renewable Energy Cost Analysis" series by the International Renewable Energy Agency, for biomass for power generation, hydropower, concentrating solar power, solar photovoltaics, and wind power, plus information contained in Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012: An Overview (Abu Dhabi: 2013), 92 pp and Road transport: the Cost of Renewable Solutions (Abu Dhabi: 2013), 83 pp.

The 2013 study of Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012 has been updated in early 2015: Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014 (Abu Dhabi: 2015), 164 pp.

Photovoltaic System Pricing Trends: Historical, Recent, and Near-Term Projections (2015 Edition), National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Golden, CO and Berkeley, CA: 2015), 35 pp.

Renewable Energy: Markets and Prospects by Technology, International Energy Agency (Paris: 2011), 66 pp.

Renewable Energy: Physics, Engineering, Environmental Impacts, Economics, and Planning (Fourth Edition), Bent Sørensen (Burlington, MA and Oxford: 2010), 976 pp.

Energy Technology Indicators, European Commission (EC), Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) (2002).

Renewable energy technologies, WC Turkenburg et al, in World Energy Assessment: Energy and the Challenge of Sustainability, J. Goldemberg et al., eds. (UN Development Programme, New York: 2000).

The Environmental Imperative for Renewable Energy: An Update, Adam Serchuk, Renewable Energy Policy Project Special Report (Washington, DC: 2000), 36 pp. The Executive Summary of this report contains a nice 3-page table comparing major life-cycle environmental impacts of renewable energy with conventional forms of energy.

Renewable Energy Technologies: A Review of the Status and Costs of Selected Technologies (Volume I), Kulsum Ahmed. World Bank Technical Paper 240 (Washington, DC: 1994), 178 pp.

Renewable Energy: Sources for Fuels and Electricity, Thomas B Johansson, Henry Kelly, Amula KN Reddy, Robert H Williams, eds. (Island Press: 1993), 1160 pp.


Note: parts of this list are now something of a historical archive, although there are some recent reports included. See the futures page of this web site for more up-to-date references.

Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet (Revised and Expanded Edition), Peter Hoffman (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA: 2012), 360 pp.

Keeping the Lights On, Walt Patterson (London, Earthscan: 2007), 208 pp.

Shell Global Scenarios to 2025 (Shell, London: 2005)

The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World, Paul Roberts (Houghton Mifflin, New York: 2004), 389 pp. A comprehensive and multi-sided treatment of our current energy predicament and possible ways forward. Includes material on renewables and energy futures.

Energy to 2050: Scenarios for a Sustainable Future, International Energy Agency (Paris: 2003), 224 pp. Scenarios based on possible technology and policy developments, as well as desirable futures.

The Future for Renewable Energy 2: Prospects and Directions, EUREC Agency (James and James: 2002), 268 pp.

The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future, Hermann Scheer (Earthscan: 2002), 347 pp.

Distributed Generation in Liberalized Electricity Markets, International Energy Agency (OECD, Paris: 2002), 112 pp.

Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead, Paul Raskin, Tariq Banuri, Gilberto Gallopin, Pablo Gutman, Al Hammond, Robert Kates, and Rob Swart (Stockholm Environment Institute-Boston and Global Scenario Group: 2002), 99 pp.

Routes to a hydrogen economy, Seth Dunn, Renewable Energy World, Jul-Aug 2001, pp.19-29.

Towards a Sustainable Energy Future, International Energy Agency (Paris: 2001). 300 pp.

Distributed Generation: the Power Paradigm for the New Millennium, Ann-Marie Borbely and Jan F. Kreider, eds. (CRC Press: 2001), 400 pp.

Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet, Peter Hoffman (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA: 2001), 289 pp.

A Solar Manifesto, Hermann Scheer (James and James, London: 2001), 258 pp.

Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future, Interlaboratory Working Group on Energy-Efficient and Clean Energy Technologies, ORNL/CON-476, LBNL-44029, and NREL/TP-620-29379 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA; and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO: 2000).

Micropower: the Next Electrical Era, Seth Dunn, Worldwatch Paper 151 (Washington, DC: 2000), 94 pp.

Transforming Electricity: The Coming Generation of Change, Walt Patterson (Earthscan: 1999), 203 pp. Walt Patterson has published a series of working papers called "keeping the lights on" that build upon the the book: Working Paper 1--Overview: The Electric Challenge, Working Paper 2--Generating Change, and Working Paper 3--Networking Change.

Power Surge: Guide to the Coming Energy Revolution, Christopher Flavin and Nicholas Lenssen, Worldwatch Institute (W.W. Norton, New York: 1994), 382 pp.


Note: See the Renewables Global Status Report page and the Sources of Information page of this web site for links to up-to-date references.

Renewable Energy Markets and Policies in the United States, Eric Martinot, Ryan Wiser, and Jan Hamrin (Center for Resource Solutions, San Francisco: 2005).

100 years of renewable electricity: geothermal power production, John Lund, Renewable Energy World 8(4): 252-2599 (2005).

PV market update: global PV production continues to increase, Paul Maycock, Renewable Energy World 8(4): 86-99 (2005).

Advancing Bioenergy for Sustainable Development: Guideline for Policymakers and Investors (Volumes I, II and III), S. Kartha, G. Leach, S.C. Rajan. Report prepared for the Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP) of the World Bank (Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm: 2005).

Renewable Energy in Europe: Building Markets and Capacity, European Renewable Energy Council EREC, Brussels (James and James, London: 2004), 202 pp. Technology developments, R&D, markets, costs, employment, and industry, sorted by technology.

Renewable Energy: Market and Policy Trends in IEA Countries, International Energy Agency (Paris: 2004), 668 pp. This reference compendium is the most comprehensive view of renewable energy ever produced for the 26 IEA member countries. For each country, it provides a summary of renewable energy market status, energy supply contribution, R&D trends, market and policy trends, and a chronological description of the policies that have affected renewable energy. Also contains a 60-page overview of these same topics for the group of IEA countries as a whole.

Biofuels for Transport: An International Perspective, Lew Fulton, Tom Howes, and Jeffrey Hardy (International Energy Agency, Paris: 2004), 216pp. Excellent treatment of biofuels technologies, costs, market issues, and existing and past policies from around the world. Bibliography of more than 150 references.

Solar Photovoltaics in Africa: Experiences with Financing and Delivery Models, Martin Krause and Sara Nordstrom, editors (UN Development Programme, New York: 2004), 96 pp. Lays out the different financing and delivery models for rural solar systems, and provides case studies and analyses addressing the pros and cons of different models.

Renewables for Power Generation: Status and Prospects, International Energy Agency (Paris: 2003), 120 pp. Technology descriptions, detailed cost analyses, market overviews, and future prospects for all renewable energy power generation technologies--small hydro, solar PV, concentrating solar, biopower, geothermal, and wind.

Renewables in Russia: From opportunity to Reality, International Energy Agency (Paris: 2003), 120 pp. Renewable energy market opportunities, prospects, benefits, and overall context.

Open for Business: Entrepreneurs, Clean Energy, and Sustainable Development, UN Environment Programme and the United Nations Foundation (Paris: 2003), 32 pp. Rural energy markets for renewable energy and new entrepreneurial approaches.

The Global CSP Market--Its Industry, Structure and Decision Mechanisms, Hajo Wenzlawski, Master's Thesis (University of Hamberg, Germany: 2003), 80 pp.

Handbook of Renewable Energies in the European Union: Case Studies of all Member States, Danyel Reiche, ed. (Peter Lang Publishing, Bern, Germany: 2002), 270 pp.

Environmental Policy: Renewable Energy--Current German and European Legislation and More. Publication 6108. German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (2002), 69 pp.

Renewable energy markets in developing countries, Eric Martinot, Akanksha Chaurey, Debra Lew, Jose Roberto Moreira, and Njeri Wamukonya, Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 27: 309-348 (2002).

Biomass energy in Asia: a review of status, technologies and policies in Asia, S.C. Bhattacharya. Energy for Sustainable Development 6(3): 5-10 (2002).

Technology Transfer for Renewable Energy: Overcoming Barriers in Developing Countries, Gill Wilkins (Earthscan, London: 2002), 256 pp.

Energy for the Poor, UK Department for International Development (DFID) (London: 2002), 32 pp.

Natural Selection: Evolving Choices for Renewable Energy Technology and Policy, United Nations Environment Programme (Paris: 2000), 36 pp. Basic introduction to technologies and policy options.


Determining the real cost: why renewable power is more cost-competitive than previously believed, Shimon Awerbuch, Renewable Energy World 6(2): 53-61 (Mar/Apr 2003).

Accounting for Fuel Price Risk: Using Forward Natural Gas Prices Instead of Gas Price Forecasts to Compare Renewable to Natural Gas-Fired Generation, M. Bolinger, R.H. Wiser and W.H. Golove, LBNL-53587 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA: 2003), 89 pp. There is also an Executive Summary.

Comparing the Risk Profiles of Renewable and Natural Gas Electricty Contracts: A Summary of the California Department of Water Resources Contracts, D. Bachrach, R.H. Wiser, M. Bolinger and W.H. Golove, LBNL-50965 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA: 2003), 108 pp.

Power price stability: what's it worth? The value of renewables as a physical hedge against natural gas price movements, Brandon Owens (Boulder, CO: Platts Research and Consulting: 2003).

Page updated February 11, 2016