Energy & Green Tech

AI system-on-chip runs on solar power

AI is used in an array of useful applications, such as predicting a machine's lifetime through its vibrations, monitoring the cardiac activity of patients and incorporating facial recognition capabilities into video surveillance ...

Energy & Green Tech

Can energy-efficient federated learning save the world?

Training the artificial intelligence models that underpin web search engines, power smart assistants and enable driverless cars consumes megawatts of energy and generates worrying carbon dioxide emissions. But new ways of ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Researchers demonstrate fully recyclable printed electronics

Engineers at Duke University have developed the world's first fully recyclable printed electronics. By demonstrating a crucial and relatively complex computer component—the transistor—created with three carbon-based inks, ...


NFTs: Why digital art has such a massive carbon footprint

How much would you be willing to pay for a one-of-a-kind work of art? For some collectors, the limit lies somewhere in the region of hundreds of millions of dollars. What about a work of art that has no tangible form, and ...

Energy & Green Tech

New perovskite design shows path to higher efficiency

Restructuring the way perovskite solar cells are designed can boost their efficiency and increase their deployment in buildings and beyond, according to researchers with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

page 1 from 7

World energy resources and consumption

In 2005, total worldwide energy consumption was 500 Exajoules (= 5 x 1020 J) with 80-90% derived from the combustion of fossil fuels. This is equivalent to an average energy consumption rate of 16 TW (= 1.585 x 1013 W). Not all of the world's economies track their energy consumption with the same rigor, and the exact energy content of a barrel of oil or a ton of coal will vary with quality.

Most of the world's energy resources are from the sun's rays hitting earth - some of that energy has been preserved as fossil energy, some is directly or indirectly usable e.g. via wind, hydro or wave power. The term solar constant is the amount of incoming solar electromagnetic radiation per unit area, measured on the outer surface of Earth's atmosphere, in a plane perpendicular to the rays. The solar constant includes all types of solar radiation, not just visible light. It is measured by satellite to be roughly 1366 watts per square meter, though it fluctuates by about 6.9% during a year - from 1412 W/m2 in early January to 1321 W/m2 in early July, due to the Earth's varying distance from the sun, and by a few parts per thousand from day to day. For the whole Earth, with a cross section of 127,400,000 km², the total energy rate is 1.740×1017 W, plus or minus 3.5%. This 174 PW is the total rate of solar energy received by the planet; about half, 89 PW, reaches the Earth's surface.

The estimates of remaining worldwide energy resources vary, with the remaining fossil fuels totaling an estimated 0.4 YJ (1 YJ = 1024J) and the available nuclear fuel such as uranium exceeding 2.5 YJ. Fossil fuels range from 0.6-3 YJ if estimates of reserves of methane clathrates are accurate and become technically extractable. Mostly thanks to the Sun, the world also has a renewable usable energy flux that exceeds 120 PW (8,000 times 2004 total usage), or 3.8 YJ/yr, dwarfing all non-renewable resources.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA