Energy Sources and Related Information +

(concern over the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels has resulted in looking for alternative fuels that are less polluting)

Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen and biomass play an important role in the future of our world

Tomorrow's generation of automobiles and trucks will have to be cleaner and much more efficient if the United States, and the world, is to strengthen its energy security and continue to improve its environment.

photovoltaic (PV) solar cells
Made of semi-conducting materials that can directly convert sunlight to electricity without any harmful waste product.

Solar collector are made more efficient by using arrays of mirrors to concentrate the sun's ray onto photovoltaic panels.

According to the Department of Energy, homes incorporating solar heating designs can save as much as 50 percent on heating bills.

The negative aspects of solar energy is that it depends heavily on a range of factors including location, time of year, and the weather.

An extensive list of related words and definitions may be seen at this photovoltaic terms page.

solar energy
Heat and light which is generated from the sun.

The Solar Energy Technologies Program focuses on developing cost-effective solar-energy technologies that have the greatest potential to benefit the nation and the world.

Solar technologies diversify the energy supply, reduce the country's dependence on imported fuels, improve air quality, and offset greenhouse gas emissions. A growing solar industry also stimulates the economy by creating jobs in solar manufacturing and installation.

wind energy
Making use of wind turbines to produce energy.

Wind energy uses the energy in the wind for practical purposes like generating electricity, charging batteries, pumping water, or grinding grain.

Turbines are perched on high towers, usually 100 feet or higher, and often placed in large groups, or "farms", to generate electricity to towns and cities.

On a much smaller scale, stand-alone turbines are sometimes used by farmers and homeowners to generate supplemental electricity.

In the past twenty years, U.S. government incentives in the form of tax credits to producers and incentives for homeowners have helped to lower the price of wind power by an estimated eighty-five percent, making it a more feasible option.

There are people who object to wind farms because of their appearance or the noise the turbines make. Wind power raises few other environmental problems except danger to birds.

There is also a problem with having a consistent generation of electricity with wind energy because of the of the unknown features of the weather. Sometimes the wind is simply non-active.

—Based on and compiled from information located in the
"Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy";
"Energy Sources"; U.S. Department of Energy.

Index of additional Scientific and Technological Topics.

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