In 2015, hydropower accounted for 2.39 quadrillion Btu of energy [vii], a figure the EIA expects to grow slightly through 2040[viii]. All other sources of renewable fuels accounted for 7.29 quadrillion Btu in 2015[ix] and are anticipated to increase to 9.71 quadrillion Btu by 2040[x]. The increase is due to the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard, mandating the use of ethanol in transportation fuels, state Renewable Portfolio Standards, mandating the use of renewable generating technologies in the electric sector of 30 states and the District of Columbia, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 among other legislation. Of the 105.7 quadrillion Btu the U.S. is expected to consume in 2040[xi], renewable sources are projected to account for 12.52 quadrillion Btu, or 11.8 percent [xii].
^ John Macknick and others, A Review of Operational Water Consumption and Withdrawal Factors for Electricity Generating Technologies, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Technical Report NREL/TP-6A20-50900.
In 1975, the first practical solar boat was constructed in England. By 1995, passenger boats incorporating PV panels began appearing and are now used extensively. In 1996, Kenichi Horie made the first solar-powered crossing of the Pacific Ocean, and the Sun21 catamaran made the first solar-powered crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the winter of 2006–2007. There were plans to circumnavigate the globe in 2010.
“This is how the solar revolution happens—one hot sales meeting at a time,” Off-Grid’s Kim Schreiber whispered to me as we watched one of the company’s salesmen, an Ivorian named Seko Serge Lewis, at work. We were visiting the village of Grand Zattry with Off-Grid’s Ivory Coast sales director, Max-Marc Fossouo. A couple of dogs tussled nearby; a motorbike rolled past with six people on board. In the courtyard next to us, a woman was doing the day’s laundry in a bucket with a washboard. Her husband listened to the sales pitch from Lewis, who was showing him pictures on his cell phone of other customers in the village.
Hydropower is produced in 150 countries, with the Asia-Pacific region generating 32 percent of global hydropower in 2010. For countries having the largest percentage of electricity from renewables, the top 50 are primarily hydroelectric. China is the largest hydroelectricity producer, with 721 terawatt-hours of production in 2010, representing around 17 percent of domestic electricity use. There are now three hydroelectricity stations larger than 10 GW: the Three Gorges Dam in China, Itaipu Dam across the Brazil/Paraguay border, and Guri Dam in Venezuela.
As of 2012, the Alta Wind Energy Center (California, 1,020 MW) is the world’s largest wind farm. The London Array (630 MW) is the largest offshore wind farm in the world. The United Kingdom is the world’s leading generator of offshore wind power, followed by Denmark. There are several large offshore wind farms operational and under construction and these include Anholt (400 MW), BARD (400 MW), Clyde (548 MW), Fântânele-Cogealac (600 MW), Greater Gabbard (500 MW), Lincs (270 MW), London Array (630 MW), Lower Snake River (343 MW), Macarthur (420 MW), Shepherds Flat (845 MW), and the Sheringham Shoal (317 MW).
^ Jinqing Peng, Lin Lu, Hongxing Yang, Review on lifecycle assessment of energy payback and greenhouse gas emission of solar photovoltaic systems. In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 19, (2013), 255–274, Fig. 5, doi:10.1016/j.rser.2012.11.035.
For example, a 2009 UCS analysis found that a 25 percent by 2025 national renewable electricity standard would lower power plant CO2 emissions 277 million metric tons annually by 2025—the equivalent of the annual output from 70 typical (600 MW) new coal plants .
What are renewable energy sources? Solar power can be used directly for heating and producing electricity or indirectly via biomass, wind, ocean thermal, and hydroelectric power. Energy from the gravititational field can be harnessed by tidal power; and the internal heat of the Earth can be tapped geothermally.
Green Energy Corp (GEC) is a leader and pioneer in design and software engineering services for distributed energy generation, load management, and innovative microgrid controller solutions. GEC provides extensive engineering support and development toolkits to promote the implementation of smart grid and microgrid technologies throughout the world.
The development of renewable energy and energy efficiency marked “a new era of energy exploration” in the United States, according to the former President Barack Obama. In a joint address to the Congress on February 24, 2009, President Obama called for doubling renewable energy within the following three years. Renewable energy reached a major milestone in the first quarter of 2011, when it contributed 11.7 % of total national energy production (2.245 quadrillion BTU of energy), surpassing energy production from nuclear power (2.125 quadrillion BTU) for the first time since 1997. In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama restated his commitment to renewable energy and mentioned the long-standing Interior Department commitment to permit 10,000 MW of renewable energy projects on public land in 2012.
Tzempelikos, Athanassios; Athienitis, Andreas K. (2007). “The impact of shading design and control on building cooling and lighting demand”. Solar Energy. 81 (3): 369–382. Bibcode:2007SoEn…81..369T. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2006.06.015.
Concentrating solar power technology uses mirrors to concentrate and reflect sunlight onto receivers that collect the energy of the sunlight and convert it to heat. This heat can then be used to produce electricity by using a steam turbine or heat engine driving a generator.
Wind energy—Wind turbines use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind flows over the blades creating lift, which causes the blades to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator, which produces electricity.
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Nuclear reactors emit no greenhouse gases, https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=Lg_W7Mrfat8 are the closest thing to a non polluting energy source apart from renewable energy. Modern reactors are safer, and are more economic than what they used to be. The main issues with nuclear energy are the safety standards of a nuclear power plant and the storage of its radioactive waste. It is still a debated issue about whether or not nuclear power is a good alternative to limit our dependence on imported oil. France is the world leader in nuclear energy production, relying on nuclear power for 80% of its electricity.
^ “Solar Photovoltaics Competing in the Energy Sector—On the road to competitiveness” (PDF). European Photovoltaic Industry Association. September 2011. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2013.
But our homes will still require AC power to draw extra energy from and send excess energy back to the grid. So an inverter, which can convert electricity from DC to AC, is required to connect the solar panels to the home’s electrical system. Inverters are typically installed right outside the breaker box, allowing the home to use the solar power first, then if the demand is too high, the home can grab more power off the grid. Conversely, if the solar system is creating more electric energy than the home needs, it can send that power out into the grid, reducing our overall demand on nuclear and fossil fuels. Some places even allow you to sell the excess energy you create back into the grid, an activity known as “net metering” which is attractive to many potential solar customers.
^ Huesemann, Michael H., and Joyce A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, Chapter 5, “In Search of Solutions: Efficiency Improvements”, New Society Publishers, ISBN 978-0-86571-704-6.
Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are very similar to how people pay their electric bills today — the equipment is owned by a third party, and customers are only charged for the kilowatt-hours of solar power that they use. In fact, some companies will simplify your solar and electric billing so you just receive one bill, to save on transaction costs. But overall, the lack of an up-front installation cost makes PPAs a very attractive proposition for solar-seeking homeowners. In fact, says Kimbis, overall, the majority of solar customers enter leases and PPAs instead of buying their own equipment outright.
The solar thermal power industry is growing rapidly with 1.3 GW under construction in 2012 and more planned. Spain is the epicenter of solar thermal power development with 873 MW under construction, and a further 271 MW under development. In the United States, 5,600 MW of solar thermal power projects have been announced. Several power plants have been constructed in the Mojave Desert, Southwestern United States. The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility being the most recent. In developing countries, three World Bank projects for integrated solar thermal/combined-cycle gas-turbine power plants in Egypt, Mexico, and Morocco have been approved.
Worldwide growth of photovoltaics has averaged 40% per year from 2000 to 2013 and total installed capacity reached 303 GW at the end of 2016 with China having the most cumulative installations (78 GW) and Honduras having the highest theoretical percentage of annual electricity usage which could be generated by solar PV (12.5%). The largest manufacturers are located in China.