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 ...

Energy & Green Tech

Scientists pioneer a new way to turn sunlight into fuel

The quest to find new ways to harness solar power has taken a step forward after researchers successfully split water into hydrogen and oxygen by altering the photosynthetic machinery in plants.

Energy & Green Tech

What's culture got to do with energy consumption?

An EU initiative has launched an online interactive data set of sustainable energy initiatives across Europe. The database could help policymakers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonise the economy.

Energy & Green Tech

Renewable energy jobs surge above 10 million: agency

The growing renewable energy industry created 500,000 new jobs globally last year, surpassing the 10 million-mark for the first time, an Abu Dhabi-based agency said on Tuesday.

Energy & Green Tech

Americans ramp up use of solar, wind energy

Americans used more solar and wind energy in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Overall, energy consumption by the ...

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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