Like many of the American entrepreneurs I met in Africa, Poindexter has a background in finance. A graduate of Harvard Business School, she worked as a derivatives trader before leading business development at Opower, a software platform for utilities customers that was acquired by Oracle last year. (Unlike many of these entrepreneurs, who tend to skew white and male, Poindexter is African-American.) She decided to start the company in 2015, after she began to learn about energy poverty. She recalled watching TV coverage of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. “There was a lot of coughing in the background, and I was thinking, That’s someone with Ebola,” she said. “But it wasn’t. It was from the smoke in the room from the fire.” Last year, in the Ghanaian community of Kofihuikrom, one of the first towns that Black Star served, the company erected twenty-two solar panels. Today, the local clinic no longer has to deliver babies by flashlight. The town chief, Nana Kwaku Appiah, said that he was so excited that he initially left his lights on inside all night. “Our relatives from the city used to not come here to visit,” he said. “Now they do.”
Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV systems can range from systems that provide tiny amounts of electricity for watches and calculators to systems that provide the amount of electricity that hundreds of homes use.
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In addition, a ground-breaking study by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) explored the feasibility of generating 80 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050. They found that renewable energy could help reduce the electricity sector’s emissions by approximately 81 percent .
Jump up ^ Frauke Urban and Tom Mitchell 2011. Climate change, disasters and electricity generation Archived 20 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. London: Overseas Development Institute and Institute of Development Studies
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Sustainable energy is energy that is consumed at insignificant rates compared to its supply and with manageable collateral effects, especially environmental effects. Another common definition of sustainable energy is an energy system that serves the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Renewable energy is not a synonym of sustainable energy. While renewable energy is defined as one that is naturally replenished on a human timescale, sustainable (often referred to as ‘clean’) energy is one the use of which will not compromise the system in which it is adopted to the point of not being fit to provide needs in the future. The organizing principle for sustainability is sustainable development, which includes the four interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture. Sustainability science is the study of sustainable development and environmental science.
Consumption of fossil energy at that rate, however, will solar power a potentially significant global issue. Historically, the mean carbon intensity (kg of C emitted to the atmosphere as CO2 per year per W of power produced from the fuel) of the global energy mix has been declining. In the past two centuries, the energy mix has shifted from being dominated by wood to coal to oil and now more to natural gas. This shift has produced a decrease in the average carbon intensity of the energy mix, because oil and gas have higher H/C ratios and hence upon combustion produce more water and less CO2 per unit of heat released than does coal. If the carbon intensity were to remain at the year 2001 value (approximately equal parts coal, oil, and natural gas), the world carbon emission rate would grow due to the projected growth in the energy consumption from 6.6 billion metric tons of carbon (GtC) yr−1 in 2001 to 13.5 GtC yr−1 by 2050. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “business as usual” scenario of Table 1 projects, arguably optimistically, that the historical trend of mean carbon intensity decline with time will continue through 2050, producing an energy mix continually favoring cleaner-burning fuels from a carbon emissions viewpoint, until the average in 2050 is below that of the least carbon-intensive fossil energy source, natural gas. This decrease in carbon intensity would offset somewhat the increase in the rate of energy consumption. But even with this projected decrease in carbon intensity, the world carbon emissions rate in this scenario is projected to nearly double from 6.6 GtC yr−1 in 2001 to 11.0 GtC yr−1 by 2050 (2).
Renewable energy accounted for 12.2 % of total primary energy consumption and 14.94 % of the domestically produced electricity in the United States in 2016. Hydroelectric power is currently the largest producer of renewable electricity in the country, generating around 6.5% of the nation’s total electricity in 2016 as well as 45.71% of the total renewable electricity generation. The United States is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world after China, Canada and Brazil. The Grand Coulee Dam is the 5th largest hydroelectric power station in the world.
Jaleh Firooz, who worked 24 years as an engineer for San Diego Gas & Electric Co., says utilities seeking higher profits “have the lopsided incentive of building more” power plants and transmission lines. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
The salt melts at 131 °C (268 °F). It is kept liquid at 288 °C (550 °F) in an insulated “cold” storage tank. The liquid salt is pumped through panels in a solar collector where the focused sun heats it to 566 °C (1,051 °F). It is then sent to a hot storage tank. This is so well insulated that the thermal energy can be usefully stored for up to a week.
Ocean Current Energy (Hydrokinetic). Ocean currents contain an enormous amount of energy that can be captured and converted to a usable form. Some of the ocean currents on the OCS are the Gulf Stream, Florida Straits Current, and California Current. Submerged water turbines, similar to wind turbines, may be deployed on the OCS in the coming years to extract energy from ocean currents.