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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 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. Expanding renewable energy sources (37%) and diversifying energy suppliers (39%) is more evenly distributed among American respondents. (Full article...)

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The Rampart Dam or Rampart Canyon Dam was a project proposed in 1954 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dam the Yukon River in Alaska for hydroelectric power. The project was planned for Rampart Canyon (also known as Rampart Gorge) just 31 miles (50 km) southwest of the village of Rampart, Alaska, about 105 miles (169 km) west-northwest of Fairbanks.

The resulting dam would have created a lake roughly the size of Lake Erie, making it the largest man-made reservoir in the world. The plan for the dam itself called for a concrete structure 530 feet (162 m) high with a top length of about 4,700 feet (1,430 m). The proposed power facilities would have consistently generated between 3.5 and 5.0 gigawatts of electricity, based on the flow of the river as it differs between winter and summer.

Though supported by many politicians and businesses in Alaska, the project was canceled after objections were raised. Native Alaskans in the area protested the threatened loss of nine villages that would be flooded by the dam. Conservation groups abhorred the threatened flooding of the Yukon Flats, a large area of wetlands that provides a critical breeding ground for millions of waterfowl. Fiscal conservatives opposed the dam on the grounds of its large cost and limited benefit to Americans outside Alaska. (Full article...)
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  • "Renewable energy provides 18 percent of total net electricity generation worldwide. Renewable energy generators are spread across the globe, and wind power alone already provides a significant share of electricity in some regions: for example, 14 percent in the U.S. state of Iowa, 40 percent in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, and 20 percent in the nation of Denmark. Some countries get most of their power from renewables, including Iceland (100 percent), Brazil (85 percent), Austria (62 percent), New Zealand (65 percent), and Sweden (54 percent)."
  • "Solar hot water provides an important contribution to meeting hot water needs in many countries, most importantly in China, which now has fully 70 percent of the global total (180 GWth)... Worldwide, total installed solar water heating systems meet a portion of the water heating needs of over 70 million households. The use of biomass for heating continues to grow as well. Notable is Sweden, where national use of biomass energy has surpassed that of oil. Direct geothermal for heating is also growing rapidly."
  • "Renewable biofuels are meanwhile making inroads in the transportation fuels market and are beginning to have a measurable impact on demand for petroleum fuels, contributing to a decline in oil consumption in the United States in particular starting in 2006... The 93 billion liters of biofuels produced worldwide in 2009 displaced the equivalent of an estimated 68 billion liters of gasoline, equal to about 5 percent of world gasoline production."

Christopher Flavin in REN21 (2010). Renewables 2010 Global Status Report p. 53.

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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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Pathfinder Plus solar aircraft over Hawaii.jpg

NASA's Pathfinder Plus solar aircraft in flight over Hawaii

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Dan William Reicher is an American lawyer who was U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the Clinton Administration. Reicher is currently Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University, a joint center of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School, where he also holds faculty positions. Reicher joined Stanford in 2011 from Google, where he served since 2007 as Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives for the company's venture Google.org.

Reicher also served as an advisor to the 2008 Obama campaign and a member of the Obama Transition Team where he focused on the energy portions of the Obama stimulus package. (Full article...)

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... that because solar cookers use no fuel and they cost nothing to run, humanitarian organizations are promoting their use worldwide to help slow deforestation and desertification, caused by using wood as fuel for cooking ? Solar Cookers are a form of outdoor cooking and are often used in situations where minimal fuel consumption is important, or the danger of accidental fires is high.

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