Energy & Green Tech

Improving solar cell efficiency with a bucket of water

Looking at your cell phone, you realize the battery is low, which means you have to make another long walk into town to pay money to charge the device. By the time you get home, it's getting dark. You light the kerosene lamp ...

US seeks ways to recycle lithium batteries in cars, phones

The U.S. government will lead an ambitious effort to develop technologies to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, cellphones and other sources to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of metals crucial ...

Energy & Green Tech

Malta energy storage system is looking forward to first pilot

Malta has received a round of funding and is graduated from "project" to group that can sail. The Cambridge, MA-based company is focused on the storage of electro-thermal energy and the funding put the group in celebration ...

Energy & Green Tech

Low-cost catalyst boosts hydrogen production from water

A future powered by carbon-free fuel depends on our ability to harness and store energy from renewable but intermittent sources, such as solar and wind. Now, a new catalyst developed at University of Toronto Engineering gives ...

Energy & Green Tech

Explaining the plummeting cost of solar power

The dramatic drop in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which has fallen by 99 percent over the last four decades, is often touted as a major success story for renewable energy technology. But one question has never ...

Energy & Green Tech

Brick by brick, a solution seeking to topple energy storage roadblock

A nagging question as the year gets closer to the very end. The wind is there. The water is there. The sun is there. How is it that we are still so far off in fossil-fuel land? Farms, plants, rigs later, those in the renewables ...

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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