Renewable Energy

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we can tackle that.”

Thomas Edison, American Inventor

What is renewable energy?

Energy resources that are naturally replenishing such as biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, ocean thermal, wave action, and tidal action. (EPA)

“What is renewable energy?” by CNBC (Click to watch, 3:23)

Renewable Energy Fast Facts

  • The amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half is enough to handle the entire world’s energy consumption for a full year. (Department of Energy)
  • The Geysers, located in the Mayacamas Mountains about 30 miles north of Santa Rosa, California, is the biggest geothermal energy plant in the world. It’s capable of producing 725 megawatts, enough electricity to power 725,000 homes, and emits no greenhouse gases. (Yale Climate Connections)
  • The United States’ wind power capacity was 105.591 megawatts at the end of 2019, making it the largest renewable energy source in the United States. That’s enough electricity to offset the consumption of 29.5 million average American homes. (Department of Energy)
  • Hydropower was one of the first sources of energy used for electricity generation and and until 2019, hydropower was the largest source of total annual U.S. renewable electricity generation. In 2019, hydroelectricity accounted for about 6.6% of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation and 38% of total utility-scale renewable electricity generation. (EIA)
  • More than 170 cities and towns across the U.S. have promised to shift their power supply from coal and natural gas to solar, wind, and hydropower. (Grist)
“Can 100% renewable energy power the world?” TedEd (Click to watch, 5:54)

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