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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, 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. And many nations around the world already generate 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 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. (Full article...)

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Grand Coulee Dam.jpg

Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, built to produce hydroelectric power and provide irrigation water. Constructed between 1933 and 1942, Grand Coulee originally had only two powerhouses. The third powerhouse ("Nat"), completed in 1974 to increase energy production, makes Grand Coulee the largest power station in the United States by nameplate-capacity at 6,809 MW.

The proposal to build the dam was the focus of a bitter debate during the 1920s between two groups. One group wanted to irrigate the ancient Grand Coulee with a gravity canal while the other pursued a high dam and pumping scheme. The dam supporters won in 1933, but, although they fully intended otherwise, the initial proposal by the Bureau of Reclamation was for a "low dam" 290 feet (88 m) tall which would generate electricity without supporting irrigation. That year, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and a consortium of three companies called MWAK (Mason-Walsh-Atkinson Kier Company) began construction on a high dam, although they had received approval for a low dam. After visiting the construction site in August 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt endorsed the "high dam" design which, at 550 ft (168 m) high, would provide enough electricity to pump water into the Columbia basin for irrigation. Congress approved the high dam in 1935 and it was completed in 1942. The first waters overtopped Grand Coulee's spillway on June 1 of that year.

Power from the dam fueled the growing industries of the Northwest United States during World War II. Between 1967 and 1974, the third powerplant was constructed. The decision to construct the additional facility was influenced by growing energy demand, regulated river flows stipulated in the Columbia River Treaty with Canada, and competition with the Soviet Union. Through a series of upgrades and the installation of pump-generators, the dam now supplies four power stations with an installed capacity of 6,809 MW. As the centerpiece of the Columbia Basin Project, the dam's reservoir supplies water for the irrigation of 671,000 acres (2,700 km2). (Full article...)
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  • "To truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy." -Barack Obama, Address to Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009

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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

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... that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) in May 2011 ? The IPCC examined renewable energy and energy efficiency in its fourth assessment report, published in 2007, but members have now decided that renewable energy commercialization merits in-depth coverage because of its importance in reducing carbon emissions.

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

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