Portal:Renewable energy

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Introduction

Renewable energy capacity additions in 2020 expanded by more than 45% from 2019, including 90% more new wind power (green) and a 23% expansion of new solar photovoltaic installations (yellow).
Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. It includes sources such as sunlight, wind, the movement of water, and geothermal heat. Although most renewable energy sources are sustainable, some are not. For example, some biomass sources are considered unsustainable at current rates of exploitation. Renewable energy often provides energy for electricity generation to a grid, air and water heating/cooling, and stand-alone power systems. Renewable energy technology projects are typically large-scale, but they are also suited to rural and remote areas and developing countries, where energy is often crucial in human development. Renewable energy is often deployed together with further electrification, which has several benefits: electricity can move heat or objects efficiently, 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.

From 2011 to 2021, renewable energy has grown from 20% to 28% of global electricity supply. Fossil energy shrunk from 68% to 62%, and nuclear from 12% to 10%. The share of hydropower decreased from 16% to 15% while power from sun and wind increased from 2% to 10%. Biomass and geothermal energy grew from 2% to 3%. There are 3,146 gigawatts installed in 135 countries, while 156 countries have laws regulating the renewable energy sector. In 2021, China accounted for almost half of the global increase in renewable electricity.

Globally there are over 10 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, with a large majority of worldwide newly installed electricity capacity being renewable. In most countries, photovoltaic solar or onshore wind are the cheapest new-build electricity.

Many nations around the world already have renewable energy contributing more than 20% of their total energy supply, with some generating over half their electricity from renewables. A few countries generate all their electricity using renewable energy. National renewable energy markets are projected to continue to grow strongly in the 2020s and beyond. Studies have shown that a global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors – power, heat, transport and desalination – is feasible and economically viable. Renewable energy resources exist over wide geographical areas, in contrast to fossil fuels, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. Deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation, and economic benefits. However renewables are being hindered by hundreds of billions of dollars of fossil fuel subsidies. In international public opinion surveys there is strong support for renewables such as solar power and wind power. But the International Energy Agency said in 2021 that to reach net zero carbon emissions more effort is needed to increase renewables, and called for generation to increase by about 12% a year to 2030. 47% of respondents to a 2022 European survey from the European Union and the United Kingdom (45%) want their government to focus on the development of renewable energies. This is compared to 37% in both the United States and China when asked to list their priorities on energy. 46% of respondents from China believe that diversifying energy sources should be a top priority, compared to 34% respondents from the European Union, 35% from the United Kingdom, and 39% from the United States. The German government is actively encouraging solar and wind energy to decrease the dependability of conventional energy sources like coal and boost the share of clean energy. Expanding renewable energy sources (37%) and diversifying energy suppliers (39%) is more evenly distributed among American respondents. (Full article...)

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Mandatory renewable energy targets are part of government legislated schemes which require electricity merchandisers to source-specific amounts of aggregate electricity sales from renewable energy sources according to a fixed time frame. The objective of these schemes is to promote renewable energy and decrease dependency on fossil fuels. If this results in an additional expenditure of electricity, the additional cost is distributed across most customers by increases in other tariffs. The cost of this measure is therefore not funded by the government budgets, except for costs of establishing and monitoring the scheme and any audit and enforcement actions. As the cost of renewable energy has become cheaper than other sources, meeting and exceeding a renewable energy target will also reduce the expenditure of electricity to consumers.

At least 67 countries have renewable energy policy targets of some kind. In Europe, 28 European Union members states and 8 Energy Community Contracting Parties have legally binding renewable energy targets. The EU baseline target is 20% by 2020, while the United States also has a national RET of 20%. Similarly, Canada has 9 provincial RETs but no national target for renewable energy (although it does have a 2030 non-emitting target and coal phase-out by 2030). Targets are typically for shares of electricity production, but some are defined as by primary energy supply, installed capacity, or otherwise. While some targets are based on 2010-2012 data, many are now for 2020, which bonds in with the IPCC suggested greenhouse gas emission cuts of 25 to 40% by Annex I countries by 2020, although some are for 2025. (Full article...)
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  • "Renewable energy is proving to be commercially viable for a growing list of consumers and uses. Renewable energy technologies provide many benefits that go well beyond energy alone. More and more, renewable energies are contributing to the three pillars of sustainable development – the economy, the environment and social well-being – not only in IEA countries, but globally."
  • "Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources."

International Energy Agency, Renewable energy... into the mainstream, 2002.

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Renewable energy sources

General

Renewable energy commercialization · Smart grid · Timeline of sustainable energy research 2020–present

Renewable energy by country

List of countries by electricity production from renewable sources

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Solar cookers use sunlight as energy source for outdoor cooking.

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Denis Hayes 2000.jpg
Hayes in 2000

Denis Allen Hayes (born August 29, 1944) is an environmental advocate and an advocate for solar power. He rose to prominence in 1970 as the coordinator for the first Earth Day.

Hayes founded the Earth Day Network and expanded it to more than 180 nations. During the Carter administration, Hayes became head of the Solar Energy Research Institute (now known as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory), but left this position when the Reagan administration cut funding for the program. (Full article...)

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... that the Exelon Pavilions, a set of four solar energy generating structures in Millennium Park of Chicago, provide sufficient energy to power the equivalent of 14 star-rated energy-efficient houses in Chicago ? In addition to producing energy, three of the four pavilions provide access to the park's below ground parking garages and the fourth serves as the park's welcoming center. Exelon, a company that generates the electricity transmitted by its subsidiary Commonwealth Edison, donated approximately $5–6 million for the Pavilions.

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