Template talk:Renewable energy sources

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WikiProject Environment (Rated Template-class)
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WikiProject Energy (Rated Template-class, Low-importance)
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Edit request on 1 November 2013[edit]

Please add an image to this template which is relevant to the context.TechnicalEngineerA3 (talk) 11:06, 1 November 2013 (UTC) TechnicalEngineerA3 (talk) 11:06, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Not done: Thank you for the suggestion. The {{edit semi-protected}} template is intended for a more detailed request to allow a non-auto-confirmed editor to make a specific change to a semi-protected article. If you'd like to be more specific you can reopen this request or you can leave it as it is and someone may take up your suggestion. Regards, Celestra (talk) 17:50, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Is it possible to remove biomass & biofuel from the template without damaging the credibility of wikipedia?[edit]

Although the "Yes we should remove them" proponents make some good points the "No we should not" proponents make more, and there is a clear consensus not to remove biofuel from this template at this time. Regardless of whether biomass and biofuel truly are renewable by definitions X, Y, or Z it seems clear that keeping them will not damage Wikipedia's credibility (though it is likely that removing them wouldn't either). If either side wants to make this even more solid, the thing to do is to find more scientific studies on this matter (not for-the-public articles but actual studies performed by scientists). Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:37, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I know this has been discussed before. I would like to bring in a few new editors' opinions on whether biomass & biofuel could be removed from the template. Thank you. Brian Everlasting (talk) 23:15, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

  • No Called by the bot. They are renewable energy sources. Why remove them? Darx9url (talk) 04:27, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No Called by the bot. I'm vaguely aware of some of the issues surrounding question and understand that some people question the validity of biomass/biofeuls as a "renewable energy". That said, it would seem that the gross majority of sources which list types of renewable energy still include "biomass" on their lists. As long as that's true, wikipedia should include it too. NickCT (talk) 15:29, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Opposed to the removal, not sure why relevant information and relevanrt classification would be removed. As for Wikipedia's credibility, well that won't suffer, many High Schools and damn near all Colleges in the United States, at any rate, caution their students against using Wikipedia for all the usual reasons. :) Good luck! And "thank you" to the editors working on the project! Damotclese (talk) 16:11, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No Invited by bot. Renewable energy sources include plants and animals. Renewable energy isn't necessarily clean and non-polluting. Jojalozzo 02:50, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Probably no Invited by the bot. I'd like to see Brian Everlasting make an affirmative case for removal before saying no definitively. Protonk (talk) 08:54, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Having read the case listed below, I'm less inclined to support this. The four points listed, while true, don't speak to the "renewability" of the resource. "Renewable" doesn't mean "good for the environment." It means either that exhausted stock can be replaced or that the stock itself comes from a resource which can't be depleted (c.f. solar). Protonk (talk) 16:15, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No Biomass and biofuel are renewable. Concerning the points below, the CO2 released is bound when the biomass grows, so there is no net release of CO2. Likewise burning biomass releases water vapour. There is a valid point that specifically peat shouldn't be seen as a renewable biomass, but that isn't grounds for removing "biomass" as a category here. And as a procedural aspect, any compelling request to remove these categories would have to be accompanied by at least a handful of high-quality sources that dispute their renewability. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 09:19, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

There are several main reasons why biomass and biofuel should be removed from the template. Before I discuss those reasons, let me confirm that my previous account, User:TeH_nOmInAtOr has already voiced a few of those reasons.

1. Renewable energy is supposed to be good for the environment. Burning biomass or biofuel is not clean. It produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and other toxic chemical gases comparable to how much would be produced to generate the same amount of energy from coal or gasoline.
2. Biomass and biofuel are the only two renewable energies that require consumption of large amounts of water before they can be used. Farmers compete with hydroelectric stations for water and what results is the hydroelectric power station produces less hydroelectricity. In the Colorado River, water is considered a “non-renewable” resource because water levels continue to decline, and Lake Mead is the lowest level it’s ever been.[1] Farmers are rapidly depleting the unregulated groundwater supplies which exacerbates the problem.
3. Land use change is a major contributor to global warming. Building a wind farm or solar array requires very little land. Biomass and biofuel require large amounts of arable land that usually comes from massive deforestation. You can build a wind farm or solar array in a desert because they don’t require any water. You can’t cultivate biomass or biofuel in a desert because it has no water.
4. Using biomass and biofuel for energy increases the price of food because less corn is available to eat.
Recommended reading:
[1] http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/08/southwests-water-crunch-even-worse-we-thought
Brian Everlasting (talk) 14:56, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep biofuel, delete biomass. The bot sent me. Biomass is just a solid (source of) biofuel, so having them both on the template is redundant, like both "solar power" and "solar energy" would be. (I have similar concerns about wave and tidal, but I understand there are many sources of waves apart from tides.) I am aware that most biofuels are renewable but not sustainable except for Brazillian sugarcane-derived ethanol, which is sustainable at present, but might not be if climate conditions in South America change. I share Brian's concerns that almost all biofuels in the English-speaking world could sharply drive up the price of food. EllenCT (talk) 00:10, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No. The proposals seems to confuse "renewable" with "sustainable". At the same time I think that biofuel should be removed as it is not the energy source but energy carrier. Disclosure: I came here as this discussion was listed by bot at Wikipedia:WikiProject Energy/Article alerts. Beagel (talk) 13:45, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
    I see your point about excluding biofuels but note that the displayed title of the template is "Renewable energy", so there is ambiguity that we should resolve once this discussion is closed. I'm inclined towards changing the template title to match the displayed title. (talk) 03:21, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


I think those who are in favor of removing renewable energy sources because they pollute or have other negative long-term impacts (such as higher food prices) are conflating "renewable" with "sustainable". This confusion might be prevalent in popular culture but we should not perpetuate that here. I think we all can agree that something can be "renewable" without being "sustainable", right? Jojalozzo 00:19, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

I think we need understand and agree that including an energy source in this template doesn't mean it's a good source to include in a sustainable mix of renewable energy sources. (See Renewable energy debate which is about the suitability, acceptability and sustainability of certain renewable resources for deployment.) Jojalozzo 13:01, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Here's the dictionary.reference.com definition for renew:
1. to begin or take up again, as an acquaintance, a conversation, etc.; resume.
2. to make effective for an additional period: to renew a lease.
3. to restore or replenish: to renew a stock of goods.
4. to make, say, or do again.
5. to revive; reestablish.
By renewable energy we mean to say energy which can be used again. I would argue that biofuel and biomass are not energy sources but rather energy carriers like hydrogen. You wouldn't ask somebody to ride a bike hooked up to a generator to power your lights, despite the colloquialism saying that someone "is full of energy". Biomass and biofuel can be classified as energy carriers, like rechargeable batteries. Brian Everlasting (talk) 18:57, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps I wasn't clear in my discussion of the argument that problems with the sustainability of biofuels and biomass is a reason to exclude them as renewable energy sources, because these these new, unrelated arguments do not address my points. That said, this new position is also not well based in policy or sources. The dictionary definition of renew is not the definition of renewable energy. It is not our role to synthesize the definition of renewable energy from the dictionary definitions of other words. We need to use the definition that sources use. If the sources include biofuel and biomass then we should also. Some here seem comfortable with using their own idea of what renewable energy means but that's inappropriate. The "exclude biofuels and biomass" arguments appear to be based on OR or SYN rather than sources and WP policy. Jojalozzo 15:47, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.