In 2010 renewable energy accounted for 17% of total energy consumption. Biomass heat accounted for 11%, and hydropower 3% Renewable energy is a socially and politically defined category of energy sources.
Intermittent energy source An intermittent energy source is any source of energy that is not continuously available due to some factor outside direct control. The intermittent source may be quite predictable, for example, tidal power, but cannot be dispatched to meet the demand of a power system. Effective use of intermittent sources in an electric power grid usually relies on using the intermittent sources to displace fuel that would otherwise be consumed by non-renewable power stations, or by storing energy in the form of renewable pumped storage, compressed air or ice, for use when needed, or as electrode heating for district heating schemes.
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Environmental concerns with electricity generation The environmental impact of electricity generation is significant because modern society uses large amounts of electrical power. This power is normally generated at power plants that convert some other kind of energy into electrical power. Each system has advantages and disadvantages, but many of them pose environmental concerns.
Cost factors While calculating costs, several internal cost factors have to be considered. (Note the use of "costs," which is not the actual selling price, since this can be affected by a variety of factors such as subsidies and taxes): Capital costs (including waste disposal and decommissioning costs for nuclear energy) - tend to be low for fossil fuel power stations; high for wind turbines, solar PV; very high for waste to energy, wave and tidal, solar thermal, and nuclear.Fuel costs - high for fossil fuel and biomass sources, low for nuclear, and zero for many renewables.Factors such as the costs of waste (and associated issues) and different insurance costs are not included in the following: Works power, own use or parasitic load - that is, the portion of generated power actually used to run the stations pumps and fans has to be allowed for. Cost of electricity by source
The question of electricity cost is tricky. Most of us know oil prices go up and down – and are currently at record highs – which in turn affects the power price. And we know that not only to the costs of importing such fuels change constantly, they also – unlike renewables – produce carbon, which has to be paid for. But while more and more people are saying onshore wind energy is at “competitive” price levels, others still insist that renewables are expensive and impractical. In order to clear up the issue , EWEA has developed an online tool that instantly calculates electricity costs, including any fuel and carbon risks, for five different technologies – gas, coal, nuclear, onshore and offshore wind. Blog » Clarity on the true cost of electricity
This diagram of the fast carbon cycle shows the movement of carbon between land, atmosphere, and oceans in billions of tons of carbon per year. Yellow numbers are natural fluxes, red are human contributions in billions of tons of carbon per year. White numbers indicate stored carbon. The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. Carbon cycle
Solar electricity isn't the only renewable energy whipping boy out there. Wind power has also taken more than its share of lumps, frequently saddled with a reputation for excessive noise and energy inefficiency. Plus, if some of the rumors are true, wind harvesters of the world have steadily been turning the planet's bird population into an airborne puree of blood and feathers. To be fair, wind turbines do kill birds -- but so do vehicles, skyscrapers, pollution and the introduction of invasive species into their habitats. Humans have had bird blood on their hands for ages, and as daunting as a field of wind turbines may look, they're responsible for statistically few bird deaths -- less than 1 in every 30,000 [source: U.S. 5 Myths About Renewable Energy"
A winning solution for renewable energy and CO2 reduction? Two scientists are proposing the use of high-pressure carbon dioxide, instead of water, for extracting geothermal heat from the Earth Image Gallery (2 images) A promising new innovation in geothermal technology, that offers a novel solution to climate change, has been created by two researchers from the University of Minnesota's Department of Earth Sciences.
“Green Nukes” An Important Climate Change Mitigation Tool Adam Curry interviewed Curt Stager, the author of Deep Future: The Next 100 Years of Life on Earth for his Big Book Show. During the interview, Curry and Stager spent several minutes discussing the potential for “green nukes” to be an important climate change mitigation tool. Aside: Adam Curry interviewed me four years ago about Adams Engines; he has been interested in new nuclear power plants for a long time. End Aside.
Renewable Energy Used to Make Drinking Water From Air Humidity – Blue Living Ideas Availability Published on June 18th, 2009 | by Jennifer Lance Scientists have discovered a way to make drinking water from the air’s humidity, even in arid regions.Â The system completely uses renewable energy and could provide water for many applications. Models have been built and tested in laboratories at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart. Image by hamed saber
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