This guide is designed to help you research information about alternative energy . It includes an index of scholarly sources that should be used. Included in the list are websites and search engines that will be helpful in your research. If you have any trouble finding these sources, please ask a librarian for help. Good Luck! Any comments or suggestions are welcome!
  • RCC Library Home Page: Most materials found in this research guide are available on the library's home page.



The on-line catalog provides access to the Library's collection of approximately 40,000 books, periodicals and audio-visual titles. These resources may be used to find information for assignments or general interest.

Tutorial for searching catalog and ordering books from Metro Boston Library Network (includes Boston Public Library)

Helpful Search Terms:

  • Solar Power
  • Geothermal Power
  • Hydroelectric Power
  • Tidal Power
  • Wind Power
  • Clean Energy
  • Renewable Resources
  • Alternative Fuel

New Books

Easton, Thomas A., ed. Taking Sides: Clashing views on envrionmental issues. 15th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print.
Call Number: GE170 .T35 2013

Circulating Books

Armaroli, Nicola. Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-powered Future. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2011. Print.
Call Number: TJ163.2 .A743 2011x

Fanchi, John R. Energy in the 21st Century. Hackensack: World Scientific, 2011. Print.
Call Number: TJ163.2 .F35 2011

Tomain, Joseph P. Ending Dirty Energy Policy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.
Call Number: HD9502.U52 T66 2011

Shaffer, Brenda. Energy Politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009. Print.
Call Number: HD9502.A2S456 2009

Dukert, Joseph. Energy. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print.
Call Number: HD9502.U52D828 2009

Reference Books

Sawin, Janet L. Mainstreaming Renewable Energy in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2004. Print.
Call Number: TJ808 .R55 2001
Dutch, Steven I., ed. Encyclopedia of Global Warming. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2010. Print.
Call Number: QC981.8.G56D88 2010 1-3


The library has recently added 20,000 online books from the vendor Ebrary. This is the “community college” collection, of interest to students and faculty at 2-year colleges. All books are simultaneously available to all RCC users.

The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming
Dauncy, Guy. The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2009. Web.

Alternative Energy Demystified: A Self-teaching Guide
Gibilisco, Stan. Alternative Energy Demystified: A Self-teaching Guide. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Web.

Solar Electricity Basics
Chiras, Dan. Solar Electricity Basics. New York: New Society Publishers, 2010. Web.

Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry
Bradford, Travis. Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. Web.

Energy Autonomy: The economic, social and technological case for renewable energy
Scheer, Herman. Energy Autonomy: The economic, social and technological case for renewable energy. London: Earthscan, 2077. Web.

Electricity from Renewable Resources : Status, Prospects, and Impediments
National Research Council, America's Energy Future Panel on Electricity from Renewable Resources. Electricity from Renewable Resources : Status, Prospects, and Impediments. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2010. Web.

Our Sustainable Future: Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism
Zehner, Ozzie. Our Sustainable Future: Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012. Web.


Browse these paper journals and magazines in the library's periodicals section for articles about alternative energy.
  • Scientific American
  • Time
  • The Economist


Access to millions of journal, magazine, newspaper and reference source articles through our research databases.

Academic Search Premier

Provides full text for more than 3,800 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including over 3,300 articles with the keywords "alternative energy."

Academic OneFile

Academic OneFile is the premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources. A search for "alternative energy" in this database yields nearly 800 full-text, peer reviewed articles.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a great database to find information on the pros and cons of contemporary issues. Here you can also find statistics, images, videos, news and other articles on "alternative energy."

Global Issues in Context

Global Issues in Context offers international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events. Here, you can find over 2,000 articles with the keywords "alternative energy," as well as images, websites, reference sources, podcasts and more.

Issues and Controversies

Issues and Controversies helps researchers understand the crucial issues we face today, exploring more than 800 hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture. In this database, you can find information on the pros and cons of alternative energy incentives and access over 100 other articles on alternative energy.


GreenFILE offers well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. You can find over 300 full-text articles on the subject of alternative energy in this database.

Streaming Videos

Full length and segment videos from Films On Demand.

Films On Demand

green rim.jpg
Green Rim: Towards a Sustainable Pacific Rim (57 minutes)
As the world’s top two carbon emitters, China and the U.S. face significant challenges reducing emissions while keeping up with a growing demand for more energy. Is there potential for cooperation between both Pacific Rim nations on this important issue, or is each country seeking its own distinct solutions? This program explores the collaborative efforts of American and Chinese academics and decision makers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, increase energy efficiency, and produce renewable energy. Filmed on location in China and Silicon Valley, the video shows why clean-technology solutions might only be effective if they are easy to integrate into everyday life.

Financing Clean Development: Ethical Markets 3 (29 minutes)
Is nuclear power the cheapest way to meet the energy needs of nonindustrialized nations? In this program, Hazel Henderson explores the financial side of sustainable development with Graciela Chichilnisky, architect of the carbon market concept that underlies the Kyoto Protocol. Chichilnisky founded an air capture facility designed to reduce greenhouse gases while making solar energy profitable, and Henderson’s Climate Prosperity Alliance recommends private investing in clean technology as part of a transformation to green energy markets. Topics include environmentally-targeted pension funds, emissions trading, and the viability of a global carbon tax. Part of the series Ethical Markets 3.

Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun (56 minutes)
As oil prices continue to rise steeply and political turmoil increases in the Middle East, it is increasingly evident that finding a solution to an uncertain energy future is one of the biggest issues of our time. With advances in science and engineering, new materials and ingenious designs for solar collectors are transforming the technology into a vastly cheaper, more efficient alternative. This episode of NOVA presents the latest thinking from solar enthusiasts and skeptics as it investigates cutting-edge research developments. The film interviews scientists and businesspeople who are racing to make solar power practical—for lighting, heating, and running power plants. Distributed by PBS Distribution.

Alternative Power Sources and Renewable Energy (22 minutes)
This program demonstrates how wind turbines, solar cells, hybrid automobiles, and coal gasification plants are beginning to transform the way the world is powered. The U.S. Secretary of Energy, the director of the National Wind Technology Center, the CEO of Enron Wind Corporation, representatives of Worldwatch Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and others discuss the challenge of satisfying the rapidly increasing global demand for energy while developing environmentally friendly forms of power generation to reduce air pollution and lessen the threat of global warming.

Fueling Our Future: A Fred Friendly Seminar on Alternative Energy (58 minutes)
Produced in Oahu, Hawaii, during the 2008 Blue Planet Energy Summit, this Fred Friendly Seminar features a panel of high-profile environmental and political leaders tasked with envisioning America’s energy future. Broadcast journalist Frank Sesno, assuming the top post in a hypothetical presidential administration, challenges each “cabinet member” to contribute to a strategy that will end American dependence on foreign oil and all fossil fuels. A separate scenario involving the political and technical aspects of wind farming is also explored. Panelists include environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; Natural Capitalism Solutions founder L. Hunter Lovins; former CIA director James Woolsey; PG&E Vice President Steven Kline; former CNBC energy reporter Bill Paul; New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin; and several others. A discussion guide and other resources are available online.

Web sites

There are many helpful web sites about alternative energy. The web sites listed below have been evaluated by library staff. Remember to always evaluate internet resources. To find out more about evaluating web sites, Cornell University has an informative guide.


The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) is a comprehensive resource for U.S. Department of Energy with renewable energy and energy efficiency information.

Alternative Energy News

AENews is a comprehensive set of online resources designed to raise public awareness and encourage debate about renewable energy technologies.

Boston GreenScene

Boston GreenScene showcases local events, initiatives, legislation, and unique aspects of the Boston and Massachusetts green community, with a specific article category of "Alternative Energy."

International Energy Agency

The IEA is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. They publish the World Energy Outlook which is a source for energy market analysis and projections.

Last Oil Shock

This is a blog written by David Strahan, an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in business and energy. Here you can find an interactive map with information on oil depletion throughout the world.

Citing Sources: Style Guides

These resouces will help you to correctly cite any sources you use in your research.

APA Style Tutorial

Laguardia Community College Library MLA and APA citation style

The Owl at Purdue: APA Formatting and Style Guide

The Owl at Purdue: MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide

Basic Research Help

Please click the Ask a Librarian icon if you have any questions concerning these guides, need help finding material for your research or any general questions you might have.

General Library Information

Research guide prepared on 4-25-2011 by Becky Ferris: Updated on 5-16-13 by Mallory Wilson:; updated on 3-12-2014 by Katie Bliss.