Renewable energy capacity additions in 2020 expanded by more than 45% from 2019, including 90% more new wind power
(green) and a 23% expansion of new solar photovoltaic
Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. It includes sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy stands in contrast to fossil fuels, which are being used far more quickly than they are being replenished. Although most renewable energy sources are sustainable, some are not. For example, some biomass sources are considered unsustainable at current rates of exploitation.
Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services. About 20% of humans' global energy consumption is renewables, including almost 30% of electricity. About 8% of energy consumption is traditional biomass, but this is declining. Over 4% of energy consumption is heat energy from modern renewables, such as solar water heating, and over 6% electricity.
Globally there are over 10 million jobs associated with the renewable energy industries, with solar photovoltaics being the largest renewable employer. Renewable energy systems are rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper and their share of total energy consumption is increasing, with a large majority of worldwide newly installed electricity capacity being renewable. In most countries, photovoltaic solar or onshore wind are the cheapest new-build electricity.
Many nations around the world already have renewable energy contributing more than 20% of their energy supply, with some generating over half their electricity from renewables. National renewable energy markets are projected to continue to grow strongly in the coming decade and beyond.
A few countries generate all their electricity using renewable energy.
Renewable energy resources exist over wide geographical areas, in contrast to fossil fuels, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. Deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation, and economic benefits. However renewables are being hindered by hundreds of billions of dollars of fossil fuel subsidies. In international public opinion surveys there is strong support for promoting renewable sources such as solar power and wind power.
While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas and developing countries, where energy is often crucial in human development. As most of the renewable energy technologies provide electricity, renewable energy is often deployed together with further electrification, which has several benefits: electricity can be converted to heat, can be converted into mechanical energy with high efficiency, and is clean at the point of consumption. In addition, electrification with renewable energy is more efficient and therefore leads to significant reductions in primary energy requirements. In 2021, China accounted for almost half of the increase in renewable electricity. In 2021, Norway, known for its production of hydroelectricity, consumed hydro energy worth 45% of its total energy supply. (Full article...)
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An aerial view of Scout Moor Wind Farm
Scout Moor Wind Farm is the second largest onshore wind farm in England. The wind farm, which was built for Peel Wind Power Ltd, produces electricity from 26 Nordex N80 wind turbines. It has a total nameplate capacity of 65 MW of electricity, providing 154,000 MW·h per year; enough to serve the average needs of 40,000 homes. The site occupies 1,347 acres (545 ha) of open moorland between Edenfield, Rawtenstall and Rochdale, and is split between the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale in northern Greater Manchester and the Borough of Rossendale in south-eastern Lancashire. The turbines are visible from as far away as south Manchester, 15–20 miles (24–32 km) away.
A protest group was formed to resist the proposed construction, and attracted support from the botanist and environmental campaigner David Bellamy. Despite the opposition, planning permission was granted in 2005 and construction began in 2007. Although work on the project was hampered by harsh weather, difficult terrain, and previous mining activity, the wind farm was officially opened on 25 September 2008 after "years of controversy", at a cost of £50 million.
In 2012 Peel Energy sold its 50% share in the facility to Munich Re
's asset management division MEAG. The other 50% holding was also purchased by MEAG from HgCapital
Renewable Power Partners. (Full article...
- "We need to push ourselves to make as many reductions as possible in our own energy use first.. and that takes time. But we must do this quickly.. the climate will not wait for us." -Rupert Murdoch
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Selected biography -
(born 7 January 1952) was a member of the German Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/ the Greens
from 1998 to 2013. He served as spokesman on energy for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, a member of the Environmental Protection Committee, substitute member of the Committee on Economics and Technology and substitute member of the Defence Committee. Together with Hermann Scheer
, he authored the 2000 draft of the Renewable Energy Sources Act
, establishing the foundation for the technology developments in photovoltaic, biogas, wind power and geothermal energy in Germany. Fell is founder and president of the Energy Watch Group
and an internationally renowned energy and climate change advisor, author and speaker. (Full article...
Did you know? -
... that The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, the 2007 book by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, argues that commercializing clean technologies is a profitable enterprise that is moving steadily into mainstream business ? As the world economy faces challenges from energy price spikes, resource shortages, global environmental problems, and security threats, clean technologies are seen to be the next engine of economic growth.
Pernick and Wilder highlight eight major clean technology sectors: solar power, wind power, biofuels, green buildings, personal transportation, the smart grid, mobile applications (such as portable fuel cells), and water filtration. Very large corporations such as GE, Toyota and Sharp, and investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are making multi-billion dollar investments in clean technology.
General images -
The following are images from various renewable energy-related articles on Wikipedia.
Cumbria, England, have been opposed for a number of reasons, including aesthetics, by some sectors of the population. (from Wind power)
Wind turbines such as these, in
Global map of wind speed at 100 m above surface level. (from
Typical wind turbine components:
Seasonal cycle of capacity factors for wind and photovoltaics in Europe under idealized assumptions. The figure illustrates the balancing effects of wind and solar energy at the seasonal scale (Kaspar et al., 2019). (from
Greenhouses like these in the Westland municipality of the Netherlands grow vegetables, fruits and flowers. (from Solar energy)
Merowe Dam in Sudan. Hydroelectric power stations that use dams submerge large areas of land due to the requirement of a reservoir. These changes to land color or albedo, alongside certain projects that concurrently submerge rainforests, can in these specific cases result in the global warming impact, or equivalent life-cycle greenhouse gases of hydroelectricity projects, to potentially exceed that of coal power stations. (from Hydroelectricity)
Enhanced geothermal system 1:Reservoir 2:Pump house 3:Heat exchanger 4:Turbine hall 5:Production well 6:Injection well 7:Hot water to district heating 8:Porous sediments 9:Observation well 10:Crystalline bedrock (from Geothermal energy)
Trends in the top five hydroelectricity-producing countries (from
Hoover Dam in the United States is a large conventional dammed-hydro facility, with an installed capacity of 2,080 MW. (from Hydroelectricity)
Global geothermal electric capacity. Upper red line is installed capacity; lower green line is realized production. (from
Edenfield in the U.K. (2008). Even longer 2-piece blades are now manufactured, and then assembled on-site to reduce difficulties in transportation. (from Wind power)
A turbine blade convoy passing through
Distribution of wind speed (red) and energy (blue) for all of 2002 at the Lee Ranch facility in Colorado. The histogram shows measured data, while the curve is the Rayleigh model distribution for the same average wind speed. (from
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will be testing a new concentrated solar power system – one that can help natural gas power plants reduce their fuel usage by up to 20 percent. (from Solar energy)
Concentrated solar panels are getting a power boost.
Wind energy generation by region over time (from
Typical components of a wind turbine (gearbox, rotor shaft and brake assembly) being lifted into position (from
Cost development of solar PV modules per watt (from
Onshore wind cost per kilowatt-hour between 1983 and 2017 (from
Share of electricity production from wind, 2020 (from
floating wind turbine (and first to be installed without the use of heavy-lift vessels), WindFloat, operating at rated capacity (2 MW) approximately 5 km offshore of Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal (from Wind power)
The world's second full-scale
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