Energy

Energy consumption during human activities, as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, has the largest potential for climate change abatement.

Parabolic-trough solar collectors at Kramer Junction in the Mojave desert in California. This facility began operation in 1986 and can generate 150 MW peak output.

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  • Spiral Pine Needle Cookstove Featured Article Spiral Pine Needle Cookstove Spiral Pine Needle Cookstove

    Spiral Pine Needle Cookstove Challenge In Uttrakand, India, wood fuel is a scarce commodity, as it is illegal to cut branches from the government-owned pine trees. The... More »

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Photovoltaics Last Updated on 2014-06-10 18:44:01 In recent decades the imminence of an energy crisis has become a common discussion topic. We will eventually deplete all fossil fuels that can be economically extracted.[1] Depletion is not the only issue involved in the use of fossil fuels; the combustion process releases carbon dioxide which can or is changing global climate. Fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, are the most common energy sources used today. When combusted to create energy, these fuels release large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. These emissions cause a warming effect on the planet. The exact results of this warming are not certain, but most predictions verge on the catastrophic. In order to curb this warming effect and free ourselves from fossil fuel use, we must reduce, and ultimately replace, them as an energy source. One promising renewable energy source involves capturing... More »
Phosphor-Based White LEDs: Mixed Blessings? Last Updated on 2012-01-26 00:00:00 Light-emitting diodes use less energy and last longer than even compact fluorescent lights.This article, written by Angela Spivey*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. The Mixed Blessing of Phosphor-Based White LEDs Light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which use less energy and last longer than even compact fluorescent lights,1 are predicted to become the leading lighting technology in the United States as incandescent bulbs are phased out.2 But Abraham Haim, director of the Israeli Center for Interdisciplinary Studies... More »
2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All Last Updated on 2011-12-19 00:00:00 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All: 2012 On 16 February 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution (A/RES/65/151) declaring Year 2012 to be the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. In that Resolution the General Assembly: Decides to declare 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All; Notes the efforts of the United Nations system to work towards ensuring energy access for all and to protect the environment through the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, cleaner technologies and newer energy sources; Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with relevant agencies within the United Nations system and UN-Energy, and mindful of the provisions of the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67, to organize and coordinate activities to be... More »
Molten Rock as a Source of High-Grade Energy Last Updated on 2011-02-16 00:00:00 Iceland Volcano's Molten Rock Could Become Source of High-Grade Energy Krafla volcano gives geologists unique, unexpected opportunity to study magma Geologists drilling an exploratory geothermal well in 2009 in the Krafla volcano in Iceland met with a big surprise: underground lava, also called magma, flowed into the well at 2.1 kilometers (6,900 feet) depth. It forced the scientists to stop drilling. "To the best of our knowledge, only one previous instance has been documented of magma flowing into a geothermal well while drilling," said Wilfred Elders, a geologist at the University of California, Riverside, who led the research team. Elders and his team studied the well within the Krafla caldera as part of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project, an industry-government consortium, to test whether geothermal fluids at supercritical pressures and... More »
Spiral Pine Needle Cookstove Last Updated on 2010-12-28 00:00:00 Spiral Pine Needle Cookstove Challenge In Uttrakand, India, wood fuel is a scarce commodity, as it is illegal to cut branches from the government-owned pine trees. The large volume of needles fallen from these trees present environmental hazards and increase the risk of forest fires; however, these pine needles have great potential as a highly combustible alternative fuel.     How does it work: This cook stove uses unprocessed pine needles as an alternative fuel. The design incorporates a slow feed of compressed pine needles that burn and gasify in an insulated chamber. The resulting fire is directed along an innovative spiral geometry to increase the burn path of the fuel, thus allowing for a clean, efficient burn that spreads heat across the bottom of the pot.     ... More »