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Portal:Renewable energy

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Introduction

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 installations (yellow).
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, the movement of water, and geothermal heat. 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 for electricity generation to a grid, air and water heating/cooling, and stand-alone power systems. About 20% of humans' global energy consumption is renewables, including almost 30% of electricity. About 7% 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 total energy supply, with some generating over half their electricity from renewables. A few countries generate all their electricity using renewable energy. National renewable energy markets are projected to continue to grow strongly in the 2020s and beyond. Studies have shown that a global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors – power, heat, transport and desalination – is feasible and economically viable. 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 renewables such as solar power and wind power. But the International Energy Agency said in 2021 that to reach net zero carbon emissions more effort is needed to increase renewables, and called for generation to increase by about 12% a year to 2030.

Renewable energy technology projects are typically large-scale, but they 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 move heat or objects efficiently, 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 global increase in renewable electricity. (Full article...)

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Newmelonesdam.jpg

New Melones Dam is an earth and rock filled embankment dam on the Stanislaus River, about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Jamestown, California, United States, on the border of Calaveras County and Tuolumne County. The water impounded by the 625-foot (191 m)-tall dam forms New Melones Lake, California's fourth largest reservoir, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada east of the San Joaquin Valley. The dam serves mainly for irrigation water supply, and also provides hydropower generation, flood control, and recreation benefits.

The dam was authorized in 1944 as a unit of the federal Central Valley Project, a system designed to provide irrigation water to the fertile agricultural region of the Central Valley. It would be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) upon completion. In 1966, work began to clear the foundations for a high dam that would replace an earlier, much smaller structure built by two irrigation districts. Construction of the main embankment began in 1976, and was topped out in late 1978. The filling of New Melones Lake commenced in 1978, and the dam's hydroelectric station produced its first power in mid-1979.

New Melones was the focus of a long environmental battle during the 1970s and early 1980s; critics protested the flooding of a long scenic stretch of the Stanislaus River, which flowed over whitewater rapids through the deepest limestone canyon in the western United States. The protestors employed a variety of methods, some extreme, to prevent the filling of New Melones Lake until 1983, when record-setting floods filled the reservoir and nearly breached the dam's emergency spillway. The fight over New Melones galvanized the river conservation movement in California and influenced major water policy changes on the state and federal levels; since its completion, no other dams of its size or importance have been built in the United States. (Full article...)
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  • "Today’s green buildings use some 30% less energy than their comparably sized nongreen counterparts (some save much more), and they’re generally brighter, healthier, and more aesthetically pleasing. Often built with little or no additional up-front cost, green offices, for instance, pay back not only in energy savings but also in greater employee retention, attendance, and productivity." – Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder. The Clean Tech Revolution, 2007, p. 21.

Main topics

Renewable energy sources

General

Renewable energy commercialization · Smart grid · Timeline of sustainable energy research 2020–present

Renewable energy by country

List of countries by electricity production from renewable sources

WikiProjects

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View of Brazos Wind Farm in Texas
The Brazos Wind Farm in Texas. At the end of 2009 wind power accounted for about 2% of the electricity generated in the United States

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Chu in 2014

Steven Chu FREng ForMemRS HonFInstP (born February 28, 1948) is an American physicist and former government official. He is a Nobel laureate and was the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. He is currently the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. He is known for his research at the University of California, Berkeley, and his research at Bell Laboratories and Stanford University regarding the cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, for which he shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips.

Chu served as United States Secretary of Energy under the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. At the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, Chu was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level. Chu resigned as energy secretary on April 22, 2013. He returned to Stanford as Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology. (Full article...)

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... that the first recorded instance of solar distillation was by 16th century Arab alchemists? A large-scale solar distillation project was first constructed in 1872 in Chile a mining town of Las Salinas. The plant, which had a solar collection area of 4,700 m², could produce up to 22,700 L per day and operated for 40 years. Individual still designs include single-slope, double-slope (or greenhouse type), vertical, conical, inverted absorber, multi-wick, and multiple effect. These stills can operate in passive, active, or hybrid modes. Double-slope stills are the most economical for decentralized domestic purposes, while active multiple effect units are more suitable for large-scale applications.

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The following are images from various renewable energy-related articles on Wikipedia.

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