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Portal:Renewable energy

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Introduction

Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.

Based on REN21's 2017 report, renewables contributed 19.3% to humans' global energy consumption and 24.5% to their generation of electricity in 2015 and 2016, respectively. This energy consumption is divided as 8.9% coming from traditional biomass, 4.2% as heat energy (modern biomass, geothermal and solar heat), 3.9% from hydroelectricity and the remaining 2.2% is electricity from wind, solar, geothermal, and other forms of biomass. Worldwide investments in renewable technologies amounted to more than US$286 billion in 2015. In 2017, worldwide investments in renewable energy amounted to US$279.8 billion with China accounting for US$126.6 billion or 45% of the global investments, the United States for US$40.5 billion and Europe for US$40.9 billion. Globally there are an estimated 7.7 million jobs associated with the renewable energy industries, with solar photovoltaics being the largest renewable employer. Renewable energy systems are rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper and their share of total energy consumption is increasing. As of 2019, more than two-thirds of worldwide newly installed electricity capacity was renewable. Growth in consumption of coal and oil could end by 2020 due to increased uptake of renewables and natural gas.

At the national level, at least 30 nations around the world already have renewable energy contributing more than 20 percent of energy supply. National renewable energy markets are projected to continue to grow strongly in the coming decade and beyond. Some places and at least two countries, Iceland and Norway, generate all their electricity using renewable energy already, and many other countries have the set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy in the future. At least 47 nations around the world already have over 50 percent of electricity from renewable resources. Renewable energy resources exist over wide geographical areas, in contrast to fossil fuels, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. Rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation, and economic benefits. In international public opinion surveys there is strong support for promoting renewable sources such as solar power and wind power.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas and developing countries, where energy is often crucial in human development. As most of renewable energy technologies provide electricity, renewable energy deployment is often applied in conjunction with further electrification, which has several benefits: electricity can be converted to heat (where necessary generating higher temperatures than fossil fuels), can be converted into mechanical energy with high efficiency, and is clean at the point of consumption. In addition, electrification with renewable energy is more efficient and therefore leads to significant reductions in primary energy requirements.

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Tidal mill at Olhão, Portugal
A tide mill is a water mill driven by tidal rise and fall. A dam with a sluice is created across a suitable tidal inlet, or a section of river estuary is made into a reservoir. As the tide comes in, it enters the mill pond through a one-way gate, and this gate closes automatically when the tide begins to fall. When the tide is low enough, the stored water can be released to turn a water wheel.

Tide mills are usually situated in river estuaries, away from the effects of waves but close enough to the sea to have a reasonable tidal range. Cultures that built such mills have existed since the Middle Ages, and some may date back to the Roman period.

A modern version of a tide mill is the electricity-generating tidal barrage. Read more...
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  • "Today’s green buildings use some 30% less energy than their comparably sized nongreen counterparts (some save much more), and they’re generally brighter, healthier, and more aesthetically pleasing. Often built with little or no additional up-front cost, green offices, for instance, pay back not only in energy savings but also in greater employee retention, attendance, and productivity." – Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder. The Clean Tech Revolution, 2007, p. 21.

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John I. Yellott 1986 photo.jpg
John I. Yellott (October 25, 1908 – December 30, 1986) was a scientist internationally recognized as a pioneer in passive solar energy, and an inventor with many patents to his credit. In his honor the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (“ASME”) Solar Division confers a biannual "John I. Yellott Award" which "recognizes ASME members who have demonstrated sustained leadership within the Solar Energy Division, have a reputation for performing high-quality solar energy research and have made significant contributions to solar engineering through education, state or federal government service or in the private sector." Read more...

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... that REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, is a policy network that provides a forum for international leadership in renewable energy policy, in order to share knowledge and facilitate the rapid growth of renewable energy technologies in developing countries and industrialised economies ?

The network launched in June 2005, operates from offices in Paris, France, and is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit in collaboration with the International Energy Agency. Since 2005 REN21 has produced an annual Renewables Global Status Report, with Eric Martinot and Janet Sawin as lead authors.

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Renewable energy sources

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List of countries by electricity production from renewable sources

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