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Portal:Energy

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The Energy Portal
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Welcome to Wikipedia's Energy portal, your gateway to energy. This portal is aimed at giving you access to all energy related topics in all of its forms.

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Introduction

The Sun is the source of energy for most of life on Earth. As a star, the Sun is heated to high temperatures by the conversion of nuclear binding energy due to the fusion of hydrogen in its core. This energy is ultimately transferred (released) into space mainly in the form of radiant (light) energy.

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The SI unit of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, the chemical energy released when a fuel burns, the radiant energy carried by light, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature.

Mass and energy are closely related. Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy. For example, after heating an object, its increase in energy could be measured as a small increase in mass, with a sensitive enough scale.

Living organisms require available energy to stay alive, such as the energy humans get from food. Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth.


Selected article

Solar arrays at the 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm
Renewable energy in the United States accounted for 13.2 percent of the domestically produced electricity in 2014, and 11.2 percent of total energy generation. As of 2014, more than 143,000 people work in the solar industry and 43 states deploy net metering, where energy utilities buy back excess power generated by solar arrays.

Renewable energy reached a major milestone in the first quarter of 2011, when it contributed 11.7 percent of total U.S. energy production (2.245 quadrillion BTUs of energy), surpassing energy production from nuclear power (2.125 quadrillion BTUs). 2011 was the first year since 1997 that renewables exceeded nuclear in US total energy production.

Hydroelectric power is currently the largest producer of renewable power in the U.S. It produced around 6.2% of the nation's total electricity in 2010 which was 60.2% of the total renewable power in the U.S. The United States is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world after China, Canada and Brazil.

U.S. wind power installed capacity now exceeds 65,000 MW and supplies 4% of the nation's electricity. Texas is firmly established as the leader in wind power development, followed by Iowa and California. The largest solar thermal power station is the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility (392 MW), south west of Las Vegas, and the SEGS group of plants in the Mojave Desert with a total generating capacity of 354 MW. Large photovoltaic power plants in the USA include Solar Star (579 MW), near Rosamond, California, the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, a 550 MW solar power plant in Riverside County, California, and the Topaz Solar Farm, a 550 MW photovoltaic power plant, in San Luis Obispo County, California. The Geysers in Northern California is the largest complex of geothermal energy production in the world.

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama restated his commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and mentioned the long-standing Interior Department goal to permit 10,000 MW of renewable energy projects on public land in 2012. Read more...


Selected image

Cyclone Catarina from the ISS on March 26 2004.JPG

Photo credit: Johnson Space Center/NASA
Tropical cyclones feed on the heat released when moist air rises and the water vapor condenses.


Did you know?

  • Adriatic LNG is the world's first offshore gravity-based structure LNG regasification terminal?
  • Scotland has 85% of the United Kingdom's hydro-electric energy resource?

Selected biography

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Amory Bloch Lovins (born November 13, 1947) is an American physicist, environmental scientist, writer, and Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. He has worked in the field of energy policy and related areas for four decades. He was named by Time magazine one of the World's 100 most influential people in 2009.

Lovins worked professionally as an environmentalist in the 1970s and since then as an analyst of a "soft energy path" for the United States and other nations. He has promoted energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources, and the generation of energy at or near the site where the energy is actually used. Lovins has also advocated a "negawatt revolution" arguing that utility customers don’t want kilowatt-hours of electricity; they want energy services. In the 1990s, his work with Rocky Mountain Institute included the design of an ultra-efficient automobile, the Hypercar.

Lovins does not see his energy ideas as green or left-wing, and he is an advocate of private enterprise and free market economics. He notes that Rupert Murdoch has made News Corporation carbon-neutral, with savings of millions of dollars. But, says Lovins, large institutions are becoming more "gridlocked and moribund", and he supports the rise of "citizen organizations" around the world.

Lovins has received ten honorary doctorates and won many awards. He has provided expert testimony in eight countries, briefed 19 heads of state, and published 29 books. These books include Reinventing Fire, Winning the Oil Endgame, Small is Profitable, Brittle Power, and Natural Capitalism. Read more...


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