How quantum physicists are looking for life on exoplanets

The world that quantum physicists study with a trained eye is the very same world that we non-scientists navigate every day. The only difference is that it's been magnified to scales incomprehensibly small and large.

How to make kelp aquaculture a better carbon sink

Cost-effective carbon dioxide removal technologies play a key role in combating climate change. A team of researchers at the University of Maine in collaboration with Conscience Bay Research have developed a kelp aquaculture ...

Gallium oxide crystal complexity tamed by machine learning

Researchers at the University of Liverpool, the University of Bristol, University College London (UCL), and Diamond Light Source have developed new understanding of gallium oxide by combining a machine-learning theoretical ...

Protection sought for rare butterflies at Nevada site

Conservationists who are already suing to block a geothermal power plant where an endangered toad lives in western Nevada are now seeking U.S. protection for a rare butterfly at another geothermal project the developer plans ...

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Renewable energy

Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat—which are renewable (naturally replenished). In 2006, about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, such as wood-burning. Hydroelectricity was the next largest renewable source, providing 3% of global energy consumption and 15% of global electricity generation.

Wind power is growing at the rate of 30 percent annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of 121,000 megawatts (MW) in 2008, and is widely used in European countries and the United States. The annual manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached 6,900 MW in 2008, and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are popular in Germany and Spain. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW. Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18 percent of the country's automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA. While most renewable energy projects and production is large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications, sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. Kenya has the world's highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30,000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year.

Some renewable energy technologies are criticised for being intermittent or unsightly, yet the renewable energy market continues to grow. Climate change concerns coupled with high oil prices, peak oil and increasing government support are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. New government spending, regulation, and policies should help the industry weather the 2009 economic crisis better than many other sectors.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA