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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 property of objects and systems of objects to act against a force (to do work), explored in branches of physics such as thermodynamics. Popularly the term is most often used in the context of energy as a public 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.

First, somehow there is a movement. There happened to be a burst of motion first. Motion implies and embraces energy, includes energy in itself. That first movement is a systematic one. The energy is the “ability of that system to perform work.” After that first movement we have the energy to play with. The universe is the result of the work systematically performed by that burst of motion. Motion can be transferred, transformed and converted into different forms. Whenever we see or sense a work done that means a visible energy. From here on radiation of energy, electromagnetic radiation and so on is easy to follow.

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 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

A spiral-type integrated compact fluorescent lamp, which has been in popular use among North American consumers since its introduction in the mid-1990s.
Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature. Installing fluorescent lights or natural skylights reduces the amount of energy required to attain the same level of illumination compared with using traditional incandescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights use one-third the energy of incandescent lights and may last 6 to 10 times longer. Improvements in energy efficiency are generally achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production processes or by application of commonly accepted methods to reduce energy losses.

There are many motivations to improve energy efficiency. Reducing energy use reduces energy costs and may result in a financial cost saving to consumers if the energy savings offset any additional costs of implementing an energy efficient technology. Reducing energy use is also seen as a solution to the problem of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, improved energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world's energy needs in 2050 by one third, and help control global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy and are high priorities in the sustainable energy hierarchy. In many countries energy efficiency is also seen to have a national security benefit because it can be used to reduce the level of energy imports from foreign countries and may slow down the rate at which domestic energy resources are depleted. Read more...


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Selected picture

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Photo credit: Diliff
The Empire State Building is being transformed into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure, at a cost of $120 million.


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Did you know?

  • Despite declines in production in recent years, Victoria still produces almost 20% of Australia's crude oil?
  • 4.26 million tonnes of the sun are converted to energy every second by nuclear fusion?

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Selected biography

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Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who developed many devices which greatly influenced life worldwide into the 21st century. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park" by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production to the process of invention, and can therefore be credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison invented the first commercially practical electric light bulb which, by 1879 would burn for hundreds of hours. He was able to sell the concept to homes and businesses by mass-producing them and creating a complete system for the generation and distribution of electricity.

Edison patented an electric distribution system in 1880, and in January 1882 he switched on the first steam generating power station at Holborn Viaduct in London, UK. The direct current (DC) supply system provided electricity supplies to street lamps and a number of private dwellings within a short distance of the station. The first investor-owned electric utility, Pearl Street Station, New York City, started generating on September 4, 1882, providing 110 volts direct current to 59 customers in lower Manhattan.

Life magazine (USA), in a special double issue, placed Edison first in the list of the "100 Most Important People in the Last 1000 Years," noting that the light bulb he promoted "lit up the world." He was ranked thirty-fifth on Michael H. Hart's list of the most influential figures in history. Read more...


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