Portal:Energy

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The Energy Portal
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Welcome to Wikipedia's energy portal, your gateway to the subject of energy and its effects on the world around us. This portal is aimed at educating you about energy and all its uses.

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Introduction

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Energy is a set of physics measures. Popularly the term is most often used in the context of energy as a technology: energy resources, their consumption, development, depletion, and conservation. Biologically, bodies rely on food for energy in the same sense as industry relies on fuels to continue functioning. Since economic activities such as manufacturing and transportation can be energy intensive, energy efficiency, energy dependence, energy security and price are key concerns. Increased awareness of the effects of global warming has led to global debate and action for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions; like many previous energy use patterns, it is changing not due to depletion or supply constraints but due to problems with waste, extraction, or geopolitical scenarios.

In the context of natural science, energy can take several different forms: thermal, chemical, electrical, radiant, nuclear, etc. These are often grouped as being either kinetic energy or potential energy. Many of these forms can be readily transformed into another with the help of a device - from chemical energy to electrical energy using a battery, for example. Most energy available for human use ultimately comes from the sun, which generates it with nuclear fusion. The enormous potential for fusion and other basic nuclear reactions is expressed by the famous equation E = mc2.

The concepts of energy and its transformations are useful in explaining natural processes on larger scales: Meteorological phenomena like wind, rain, lightning and tornadoes all result from energy transformations brought about by solar energy on the planet. Life itself is critically dependent on biological energy transformations; organic chemical bonds are constantly broken and made to make the exchange and transformation of energy possible. Read more...


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Selected article

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On 11 March 2011 the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster began, following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami off the northeast coast of Japan. The tsunami disabled emergency generators required to cool the reactors. Over the following three weeks nuclear meltdowns occurred in units 1, 2 and 3; visible explosions, suspected to be caused by hydrogen gas, in units 1 and 3; a suspected explosion in unit 2, that may have damaged the primary containment vessel; and a possible uncovering of the units 1, 3 and 4 spent fuel pools. 50,000 households were evacuated after radiation leaked into the air, soil and sea. Radiation checks led to bans of some shipments of vegetables and fish.

The Fukushima disaster was the worst nuclear accident in 25 years. The events at units 1, 2 and 3 have been rated at Level 7 (major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects r­equiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures) on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Read more...


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Selected picture

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Photo credit: From an image by Arnold Paul
Coal-fired power stations transform chemical energy into 36%-48% electricity and 52%-64% waste heat.


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Did you know?

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  • Adriatic LNG is the world's first offshore gravity-based structure LNG regasification terminal?
  • Scotland has 85% of the United Kingdom's hydro-electric energy resource?

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Selected biography

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Enrico Mattei (1906 - 1962) was an Italian public administrator. After World War II he enlarged and reorganized Agip, the Italian Petroleum Agency established by the former Fascist regime, to create Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), the National Fuel Trust. He also introduced the international principle whereby a country that owns oil reserves receives 75% of the profits from their exploitation, and helped break the oligopoly of the 'Seven Sisters' that dominated the mid 20th century oil industry.

Enrico Mattei was born in Acqualagna, the son of a carabiniere. At the age of 24 he moved to Milan, where he worked in various jobs and later joined the Resistenza and became a well known partisan. In 1945, the Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale gave him instructions to close Agip; instead, he turned the company into one of the nation's major economic assets. When ENI was formed in 1953, subsuming Agip, Mattei became its president, then also the administrator and the general director. To break the oligopoly of the oil majors, Mattei initiated agreements with the poorest countries of the Middle East and with those of the soviet bloc. He agreed a 50-50 partnership for extracting oil in Tunisia and Morocco, and offered Iran and Egypt that the risks of oil exploration would be entirely ENI's.

Behind the scenes, Mattei secretly financed the independence movement against colonialist France in the Algerian War, and was also alleged to have engaged in extensive bribery, especially of politicians and journalists. His death in a plane crash is claimed by some to have been murder. In 2000, the Trans-Mediterranean Pipeline was named after him. Read more...


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