UCB Libraries

Subject Guide for Alternative and Renewable Energy

Energy sources that are not derived from fossil fuels. “Renewable energy, also called alternative energy is usable energy derived from replenishable sources such as the sun (solar energy), wind (wind power), rivers (hydroelectric power), hot springs (geothermal energy), tides (tidal power), and biomass (biofuels)” (Encyclopedia Britannica online). 


  • Starting Your Research
  • Find Articles
  • Find Books
  • Online Resources
  • Citing

Start your research with reference resources like dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, and manuals.


+ Dictionaries

These publications provide background information, definitions and explanations of terms.

Facts on File Dictionary of Environmental Science
Engineering Library Reference TD 9 W95 2001


CU Scientific and Technical Acronyms, Symbols, and Abbreviations

Search Chinook to find additional dictionaries:

Library of Congress Subject

Renewable Energy Sources Dictionaries  


+ Directories


Scholarly Societies--Environmental Sciences


Search Chinook to find additional directories:

Library of Congress Subject

Renewable Energy Sources Directories


+ Encyclopedias

These publications provide background information, definitions and explanations of terms.  

CU Access Science: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia Of Science & Technology


CU Alternative Energy  

Edited by Neil Schlager and Jayne Weisblatt


CU Encyclopedia for Science and Technology


CU Encyclopedia of Environmental Science and Engineering

CU  Handbook of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Edited by Frank Kreith and D. Yogi Goswami


Wiley Encyclopedia of Energy and the Environment
Engineering Library Reference TJ 163.235 M55 1997



+ Handbooks and Manuals


CU EnviroNetBase--over 200CRC handbooks online.

CU Knovel Library --Combines essential and authoritative reference books and databases from more than 30 Sci-Tech publishers and professional societies including, McGraw Hill, John Wiley, Elsevier, Springer, Industrial Press, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Covers 17 industrially important subject areas in the fields of Chemistry and the Life Sciences; Materials; and Engineering.

Video Video Tutorial: Using Knovel

Search Chinook to find additional handbooks and manuals:


Library of Congress Subject

Renewable Energy Sources Handbooks Manuals Etc

Library of Congress Subject

Energy Conservation Handbooks Manuals Etc

Library of Congress Subject

Solar Energy Handbooks Manuals Etc

Library of Congress Subject Wind Power Handbooks Manuals Etc




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Find Articles & More Article Finder Find it at CU Find Journals in Chinook


Find Articles and More--When you need to find articles on a topic


Article Finder--When you know the article you need

Author's Last Name: *
Year: *
ISSN: * Click here to find ISSN by entering journal title
Article Title:
Journal Title:


Find it at CU

Find it at CU


In some article databases, you will see a "Find it at CU" link. Find it at CU will link you from citations to the full text of the desired item in another article database. For more information about Find it at CU, please see the Find it at CU FAQ. Not all databases can be set up to work with Find it at CU.


Video Video Tutorial: Using Find it at CU (Finding full-text from a citation)


If you do not see a link to Find it at CU, note the name of the publication where the article was published and then check Chinook (the library catalog) to see where the publication is available. [More information on deciphering citations]

Video Video Tutorial: Finding journals in Chinook


Search Chinook to find additional journals and other periodicals:



Library of Congress Subject

Renewable Energy Sources Periodicals

Library of Congress Subject Energy Conservation Periodicals
Library of Congress Subject

Geothermal Resources Periodicals

Library of Congress Subject

Nuclear Energy Periodicals

Library of Congress Subject

Power Resources Periodicals

Library of Congress Subject

Solar Energy Periodicals

Library of Congress Subject

Wind Power Periodicals

Engineering Library Home Subject Guides Ask Us How Do I?


Library of Congress Classification Search Chinook Prospector Interlibrary Loan


Library of Congress Classification

Books in the University Libraries are organized according to the Library of Congress Classification system. This system assigns a call number with letters and numbers to each book based on the book's subject. Once you find a good book on your subject, browse the books in that call number range to find books with similar subjects.


Call Numbers
HD 9502-9502.5 Energy industries. Energy policy. Fuel trade
TJ 163.13-163.25 Power resources
TJ 163.26-163.5 Energy conservation
TJ 807-830 Renewable energy sources

TP 315-360





Chinook is the catalog for materials owned by the CU Libraries. You can do a title search for a specific book, or a keyword search if you are looking for books on a particular topic. You can also use MyChinook to manage your library account (including renewals, holds, recalls, saved searches, etc.)  

Chinook Catalog


Video Video Tutorial: Searching for books in Chinook


Video Video Tutorial: Chinook Keyword Search

For Tips on developing keywords for your topic go to: How do I Choose Keywords for my search

Video Video Tutorial: How to recall/request books that are checked out or at PASCAL


Video Video Tutorial: Accessing online books


If you search Chinook and find that the CU Libraries do not have the item you are looking for (or if the item you are looking for is checked out), you can search Prospector, which is a combined library catalog of 23 libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. CU students, staff and faculty can request materials through Prospector, and the items will generally be delivered to Norlin within a few business days.

Video Video Tutorial: Search Prospector

Search Prospector


Request through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) - http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/ill/

If the item you are looking for is not in Chinook or Prospector, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Generally, an ILL request will take longer to be delivered than material requested through Prospector.

Video Video Tutorial: Request through ILL



Engineering Library Home Subject Guides Ask Us How Do I?


These are relevant resources that are freely available on the Web.


Online Government Publications Other Web Resources


Online Government Publication Sources

Alternative Fuels Data Center (http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc)
This site, which is part of the Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program, has extensive reports and documents on alternative fuels. For each alternative fuel, there is general information, related standards/codes/legislation, fuel supply information, and lists of papers and publications. The site also describes model clean cities programs, provides maps of refueling stations, and information for buying or converting to an alternative fuel vehicle. There are links to U.S. government and non-government agencies, state agencies, energy and transportation organizations, energy suppliers, corporations and universities.


Country Analysis Briefs (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/contents.html)
Country Analysis Briefs on energy issues for selected countries and Expanded Environmental information for selected countries. These reports from the United States Energy Information Administration examine the energy situation in OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) on-OPEC countries in the politically volatile Persian Gulf region, major non-OPEC oil exporters, and other countries or regions. The publications concentrate on energy outlook and supply but also include overview of each country, recent energy related-activities, summary environmental information including significant environmental problems by country.


DOE Information Bridge (http://www.osti.gov/bridge/)
Full-text documents and bibliographic records from the Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and grantees from 1995 on. Includes DOE reports, bibliographic citations/full text of energy related scientific and technical information from domestic and international sources. Reports focus on physics, chemistry, materials, biology, environmental sciences, energy technologies, engineering, computer and information science, renewable energy, and other topics. The EnergyFiles contains over 500 databases and Web sites with information from 1948 to the present on energy science and technology, emphasizing the physical sciences.


Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE) (http://www.eere.energy.gov)
This DOE page has information on energy efficiency technologies (for buildings, industry, transportation and power) and renewable energy technologies (such as wind and solar power). There are specialized resources that feature an Ask-an-Energy-Expert page, as well as educational and consumer information. Links connect to webpages for DOE offices, and also to national programs that offer help for state and community programs on efficient and renewable energy sources.
Energy Information Agency (EIA) State Energy Profiles (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/states/_states.html)
Includes current and historic data on primary energy consumption, petroleum consumption, consumption by sector, residential use, commercial use, industrial use, transportation use, electric utility use, prices, expenditures, and state rankings of consumption, prices, and expenditures. Summary and detailed information are available at the state and national level. Data is from 1949 to present, with projections to 2020. The State Consumption Data gives estimates on energy consumption the 50 States and for whole nation; the estimates are provided by energy source and economic sector. The Price & Expenditure Data gives energy price and expenditure estimates for the 50 States and for the nation; estimates are provided by energy source and economic sector. EIA's website provides a variety of other energy resources, including: energy-use profiles of foreign countries, data on national enrgy use by fuel source and sector, forecasts of future energy use and analyses of national utility deregulation and other energy issues.


National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) (http://www.nrel.gov)
Information about the programs and research initiatives of the Dept. of Energy's renewable energy lab. Includes full text publications on energy conservation, buildings and energy systems, industrial technologies, photovoltaics, solid state theory, transportation, wind energy technology, and alternative fuels such as bioenergy.


Renewables, Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelrenewable.html)
This Energy Information Administration (EIA) site provides monthly and yearly statistics on renewable energy use (data, charts, tables), by geography, technology or consuming sector. Includes publications such as a biennial analysis of renewables. There is a similar EIA site on Alternative Fuels.


Renewable Energy Policy Project (http://www.crest.org)
The Renewable Energy Project, previously known as CREST, has been publishing information about renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability since 1994. Main subjects include policy, hydro, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, wind, hydrogen. The main searchable database helps find any online information about renewable and sustainable energy.


Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States (http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/)

"This atlas estimates wind energy resource for the United States and its territories,(a1). and indicates general areas where a high wind resource may exist. This information is valuable to wind energy developers and potential wind energy users because it allows them to choose a general area of estimated high wind resource for more detailed examination." Includes background information, regional summaries, maps, and other information.

Search these websites using this Google Custom Search:




Other Web Reources

Provides information about energy efficiency and renewable energy in Colorado.  There is something for everyone at ColoradoENERGY.org.  You will find how-to's, information about green building, energy-efficient applications, wind power in Colorado, government actions, new technologies, important events and much more.


Environmental Resources on the Internet--Center for Environmental Journalism/University Libraries


InfoMine Scholarly Internet Resource Collections: Physical Sciences, Engineering, Computing and Math


Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology




National Library for the Environment


This federated vertical search portal was created through the collaboration of 15 leading science and technology societies.


TechXtra: Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing


University of Colorado at Boulder Energy Initiative


Search these websites using this Google Custom Search:






Citation Styles and Manuals RefWorks Tips & Strategies


Citation Styles and Manuals



Turabian (Chicago)

  • Turabian: a form of Chicago Style (PDF document)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
    16th edition, chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003
    Sections 16 and 17.
    Call number: Z253 .C57 2003


A personal online database and bibliography creator that allows users to create a personal database online, import references automatically from multiple databases, organize references, and quickly format bibliographies and manuscripts. You will need to create a login and password. Provided by the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries.


How do I use RefWorks?


Video RefWorks Video Tutorials

Tips & Strategies

Pick an Interesting Topic It is easier to express your own opinions and thoughts if you are interested in the topic.


Manage Your Time

Many students are tempted to plagiarize because they do not start researching and writing far enough in advance. Start your paper at least 3 weeks before the due date. Plagiarism could compromise your entire academic career. Speak to your professor if you have run out of time.


Create a Bibliography as you Research

Record the sources you consult. Include all the bibliographic information needed in your works cited (Author, Title, Pages, Publisher, Year, Volume, Issue).This will help you to cite correctly and to compile your works cited.


Take Clear Notes

Designate all direct quotes with quotation marks.

Designate when you are paraphrasing.

Electronic Research and Note taking is the same: Use quotation marks when you cut and paste.

Always note the source/ author.


Be Careful with Paraphrasing

Be sure you understand the text.

Do not look at the original source when writing your paraphrase.

Reorganize the information in your own words and in your own style.

Check to be sure you have not used the vocabulary or structure of the original work.

Mention the author near or in your paraphrase.


And Remember to Cite:

Any information that was not originally created by you:
  • Quotations
  • Key terms or phrases
  • Ideas
  • Facts not broadly known
  • Images and Sounds
Any material from another source regardless of where you found it:
  • Printed sources
  • Electronic sources
  • Conversation or email
  • Recorded sources
  • Images


Engineering Library Home Subject Guides Ask Us How Do I?