Energy & Green Tech

Scientists set solar thermal record

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have set a world record for efficiency for a solar thermal dish generating steam that could be used for power stations.

Energy & Green Tech

GE Global Research is exploring renewable energy system

Tables are turned on declaring CO2 as one of the key enemies of mankind and the future, at least in one initiative. Scientists there have come up with a twist. While CO2 emissions are notorious contributors to climate change, ...

Energy & Green Tech

The paints that eat pollutants and heat homes

Applying a coat of paint on the walls of a house may soon help to heat it, saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions. It could also clean the air that we breathe, breaking down chemicals and pollutants, and eliminating harmful ...

Energy & Green Tech

'Smart' transformers could make reliable smart grid a reality

A new study using complex computational models finds that smart solid-state transformers (SSTs) could be used to make a stable, reliable "smart grid" - allowing the power distribution system to route renewable energy from ...

Energy & Green Tech

20 overlooked benefits of distributed solar energy

A study released today provides the most complete list yet of the advantages of solar energy—from carbon sequestration to improvements for pollinator habitat. The paper offers a new framework for analyzing solar projects ...

Energy & Green Tech

Interest rates are a decisive factor for competitive renewables

Renewable energy has become competitive—and one often-overlooked reason is the reduced cost of financing. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have modeled different scenarios ...

Energy & Green Tech

Ocean power: A green option failing to make waves

The tidal power plant on the Rance river in Brittany, France, stands as a reminder of the underexploited potential of energy generation from ocean tides, waves and warmth.

Energy & Green Tech

A globalized solar-powered future is economically unrealistic

Over the past two centuries, millions of dedicated people—revolutionaries, activists, politicians, and theorists—have been unable to curb the disastrous and increasingly globalized trajectory of economic polarization ...

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Renewable energy

Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat—which are renewable (naturally replenished). In 2006, about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, such as wood-burning. Hydroelectricity was the next largest renewable source, providing 3% of global energy consumption and 15% of global electricity generation.

Wind power is growing at the rate of 30 percent annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of 121,000 megawatts (MW) in 2008, and is widely used in European countries and the United States. The annual manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached 6,900 MW in 2008, and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are popular in Germany and Spain. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW. Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18 percent of the country's automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA. While most renewable energy projects and production is large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications, sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. Kenya has the world's highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30,000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year.

Some renewable energy technologies are criticised for being intermittent or unsightly, yet the renewable energy market continues to grow. Climate change concerns coupled with high oil prices, peak oil and increasing government support are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. New government spending, regulation, and policies should help the industry weather the 2009 economic crisis better than many other sectors.

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