Portal:Renewable energy

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Renewable energy sources, especially solar photovoltaic and wind power, are providing an increasing share of power capacity.

Renewable energy is energy from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. Renewable resources include 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 is often used for electricity generation, heating and cooling. Renewable energy 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. 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.

From 2011 to 2021, renewable energy has grown from 20% to 28% of global electricity supply. Use of fossil energy shrank from 68% to 62%, and nuclear from 12% to 10%. The share of hydropower decreased from 16% to 15% while power from sun and wind increased from 2% to 10%. Biomass and geothermal energy grew from 2% to 3%. There are 3,146 gigawatts installed in 135 countries, while 156 countries have laws regulating the renewable energy sector. In 2021, China accounted for almost half of the global increase in renewable 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. According to the IEA, to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, 90% of global electricity generation will need to be produced from renewable sources. Some studies have shown that a global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors – power, heat, transport and industry – 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. In 2022 the International Energy Agency asked countries to solve policy, regulatory, permitting and financing obstacles to adding more renewables, to have a better chance of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Full article...)

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Aerial View of Salmon Arch dam in Juneau.jpg
Aerial view of Salmon Creek Dam in Juneau, Alaska

The Salmon Creek Dam is a concrete arch dam on the Salmon Creek, 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Juneau, Alaska. Built in 1914, it is the world's first constant-angle arch variable radius dam. Since it was built, over 100 such dams have been constructed all over the world. The dam was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2022.

The dam was built by the Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company to meet the electrical energy needs for mining operations. The dam continues to be fully functional for hydroelectric generation, as one of the drinking water sources to Juneau city and for aquaculture and fishing. When built, adoption of the constant arch design for the dam reduced costs by 20% because less concrete was needed to construct the dam. Of the two hydroelectric power stations built at the initial stage (one at the upper level and the other at the lower level) – the latter one is still in use after a new powerhouse was built adjoining the old one – it produces 10% of the energy needs of Juneau city. When built, the dam and its two power plants were considered engineering wonders. Both are operated and maintained by the Alaska Electric Light & Power (AEL&P). (Full article...)
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  • "The variability of sun, wind and so on, turns out to be a non-problem if you do several sensible things. One is to diversify your renewables by technology, so that weather conditions bad for one kind are good for another. Second, you diversify by site so they're not all subject to the same weather pattern at the same time because they're in the same place. Third, you use standard weather forecasting techniques to forecast wind, sun and rain, and of course hydro operators do this right now. Fourth, you integrate all your resources — supply side and demand side..." – Amory Lovins
  • "Because the wind blows during stormy conditions when the sun does not shine and the sun often shines on calm days with little wind, combining wind and solar can go a long way toward meeting demand, especially when geothermal provides a steady base and hydroelectric can be called on to fill in the gaps". – Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi. Scientific American, November 2009, p. 43.

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Renewable energy sources


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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De Zoeker, an oil windmill built in 1672 and still in operation, located in Zaanstad, Netherlands.
De Zoeker, an oil windmill built in 1672 and still in operation, located in Zaanstad, Netherlands.

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Elon Musk Royal Society (crop2).jpg
Musk in 2018

Elon Reeve Musk (/ˈlɒn/ EE-lon; born June 28, 1971) is a business magnate and investor. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX; angel investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; owner and CEO of Twitter, Inc.; founder of the Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI; and president of the philanthropic Musk Foundation. Musk is the second-wealthiest person in the world, according to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes's Real Time Billionaires list as of May 2023 primarily from his ownership stakes in Tesla and SpaceX, with an estimated net worth of around $167 billion according to the Bloomberg and $176.2 billion according to Forbes.

Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and briefly attended the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada at age 18, acquiring citizenship through his Canadian-born mother. Two years later, he matriculated at Queen's University and transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received bachelor's degrees in economics and physics. He moved to California in 1995 to attend Stanford University. After two days, he dropped out and, with his brother Kimbal, co-founded the online city guide software company Zip2. In 1999, Zip2 was acquired by Compaq for $307 million and Musk co-founded X.com, a direct bank. X.com merged with Confinity in 2000 to form PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. (Full article...)

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... that efficient energy use is most often achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process ? Energy efficient buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world's energy needs in 2050 by one third, and help controlling global emissions of greenhouse gases, according to the International Energy Agency. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy.

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