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World’s Second Largest Source of Electricity Is Now Renewables

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posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 07:13 PM

Renewable energy is generally defined as energy that comes from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

In other words, things that we have in abundance without raping the earth.

It probably surprises nobody to learn that coal produces more of the world’s electricity than any other fuel. But it may provide food for thought to realize that the second most widely-used fuels for power generation are now renewables.
Electricity generation from renewable sources has overtaken natural gas to become the second largest source of electricity worldwide, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced.

In Europe, the main renewables used to generate electricity are wind and solar power. Since 1990, global solar photovoltaic power has been increasing at an average growth rate of 44.6 percent a year and wind at 27.1 percent.


Alternative energy no longer. Sustainable energy. Renewable energy is the future, and many have known this for quite some time, despite the resistance. This is a pretty huge deal, that it is now the second largest source (though some would argue they're fudging their numbers in the hydro areas...that's an argument for another day. Particularly of note is the fact that it's non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries who seem to be breaking away from the pack and are seeing the highest growth.

There have been plenty of renewable energy success stories, locally, at the state level, by country.

Four Powerhouse Bills to Help California get to 50 Percent Renewable Energy

How Energy Storage Can Change Everythingl

India Expands Work On Renewable Energy Transmission Network

West Asian companies look to buy Indian green power assets

Africa’s biggest renewable energy projects

US, Brazil Agree to Source 20% of Energy From Renewables by 2030

And Germany, way ahead of the curve in many ways, even to the point of having gotten rid of its nuclear sources (I think they're all gone now) seems to have a renewable issue of its own.

Germany Struggles With Too Much Renewable Energy]

And of course there will be the naysayers, primarily those who own, control, or are otherwise heavily invested in the non-renewable industries

Talk Is Cheap. Renewable Energy Isn't.

It isn't for now. But that will change. As technology evolves and ingenuity prevails, the costs will come down, as they always do. New jobs will be created or at the very least shift over.

Renewable energy isn't a passing fad or something to turn away from. Our very survival as a planet may well depend on it. And it's heartening to see that the world is making some progress in this area. Now if we could only get a real handle on the car problem in the U.S....

Anyway...go world!
edit on 8/19/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 07:35 PM
In Scotland we have been developing renewable's for the last 20 years but it's had a real push in the last 10.
The engineering skills that we gained from developing offshore technologies has allowed us to keep the skills in the country and to use those resources to develop the technology in renewable energy.
Donald Trump owns a golf course where I live and he attempted to block a grant to allow an offshore wind farm testing facility to be located just off the coast where his golf course resides. He said it would ruin the view from the course but tbh I actually quite like the look of them.


posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 07:40 PM
Renewables have become big business in Scotland,big enough to p off Donald Trump.
A couple of years ago he bought a load of ground at Belmedie,just outside of Aberdeen to build a new golf course.
The Scottish government seemed to pander to his every want which included ignoring any protest against his scheme.
Once his money was spent building the place in its nice scenic coastal village the Scottish government gave the go ahead for his scenic view to get some additions-off shore wind turbines.
The Donald was raging about that and probably still is.

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 07:43 PM
a reply to: mclarenmp4

That's cool. A lot of countries have been making tremedous strides, but for some reason (eyebrow thingy) it just doesn't make mainstream news all that often. Wonder why. Well we all know why.

I just read today that he lost that fight. Here in the U.S. the Kock brothers are fighting it too. Have been for 12 years. No need to wonder why on that one. [Source]

I think they're pretty cool looking too, but they do say they kill a lot of birds, which makes me sad. But then again, how much wildlife do the more harmful, non-renewable alternatives kill?

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 07:59 PM
a reply to: ~Lucidity

I don't think bird deaths are all that frequent with wind turbines but have read about large solar panels frying birds which is a potential concern not just for birds.

We have a lot of potential energy offshore and so we have been developing offshore wind farms where the environmental impact is decreased. There are other concerns like the effect ultrasound waves that are generated by the turbines have on nature including humans, so I'm not so keen on increasing onshore wind farms.

I think the wave generation technology is the area I think great strides can be made in and it's an area we are developing quite rapidly, so I think we might see some development in the coming years from that.

It makes sense to becoming energy independent in a time where oil prices fluctuate regularly.
Scotland has set the target of providing 100% of it's electricity & 11% of heat from renewable's by 2020.

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 08:06 PM
a reply to: mclarenmp4

I actually worked with a man whose girlfriend worked on a project where they put these wavy fingery things (technical term) at the bottom of rivers and then harnessed the energy they produced as the river flowed over it. The biggest challenge they faced, as all these harnessing technologies face, was storage and delivery.

You're right, there's a helluva lot of energy in our oceans and bigger bodies of water.
edit on 8/19/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 08:37 PM
a reply to: ~Lucidity

You hit the nail on the head with regards to what's stopping proper progress to be made in all forms of renewable energy and that's storage.
Battery technology has barely advanced in over 30 years and I think we are due for a game changer very soon.

Tesla and Formula 1 are driving this technology forward and as a McLaren fan, the McLaren P1 road car is truly a game changer for road cars imo. It is 100% electric driven but it uses twin turbo charged v8 engine to charge the batteries, so it's a true hybrid.
They use the energy recovery systems from F1 where the energy generated by friction when braking and the air flow and heat generated by the exhaust is used to recharge the batteries.
It's a very clever system and when developed correctly would have the means of generating enough electricity through regular driving to charge the batteries to run a small car without the need to charge it.

The biggest break through in all of this is batteries and it's Tesla that is driving this technology forward. If he delivers with his Tesla battery it has the potential to change the world.
Solar panels are an effective energy generation method but the limitation is on how to store the energy during the day to be utilised at night. You create an energy storage device that can store a large house or a small village's daily energy needs and it changes the world, it's really that simple.
I suspect we've had the technology for a while but it's been held back out of greed but that may just be the cynic in me.

edit on 19-8-2015 by mclarenmp4 because: Formatting

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 09:10 PM
a reply to: ~Lucidity

In other words, things that we have in abundance without raping the earth.

How is it that these alternative sources are built without "raping the earth"? Just because most of the mining is taking place in China to extract all the minerals and rare earth to build the components, components that last, at most, twenty years, then must be replaced?
The energy required to mine the raw materials and process them into the final product is so great that the end will never justify the means.

The Sun Gives Us Nothing for Free As alluring as the premise may be, the promise of solar energy is not free. The first solar cell was created in 1883 by Charles Fritts using a sheet of Selenium with thin Gold facings. The Sun radiates approximately 1000 watts per square meter at maximum. The Fritts cell produced 10 watts per square meter or 1% efficiency. The Russell Ohl patent of 1946 is considered the first modern solar cell.
Today’s solar panels are high purity Silicon with a light doping of Phosphorus and Boron to provide breaks in the Silicon for electron movement. This creates electrical current flow when exposed to photons in sunlight. Only segments of the solar spectrum activate this flow and it must be captured on both sides of the panel to create a circuit. The required capture grid blocks some of the incoming energy and the net result is 10% efficiency, or approximately 100 watts per square meter.
Efficiencies as high as 40% are available with exotic materials, but then one must address the ‘high cost of free’, which applies to every ‘green’ technology. Silicon, Phosphorus and Boron are common elements, but to mine, refine and bring on line has a cost. That cost is reflected in ‘cost payback’ of 5 to 7 years depending on the system. The total system life is 20 years. But these costs are based on low cost carbon based energy systems providing these materials.
Much like paying your Visa bill with your Master Card, this parasitic ‘clean’ energy cannot provide the ‘spare’ energy to avoid ‘dirty’ energy. There is a certain loss of electrons in this system and power production erodes over time until at twenty years they are useless. The Silicon sheets are protected with glass covers which require periodic cleaning and are subject to damage from hail and wind debris.

I knew a lot of folks who installed solar panels back in the '80s and '90s. They were ecstatic for a few years. Every single one of them lost their systems in less than 20 years and turned back to traditional power sources.
Every element of those systems has to be mined (or raped) from the earth. Mother Nature doesn't present solar panels or wind turbines fully formed. All of the elements have to be mined from the earth and using some sort of energy, transformed into usable elements. I've yet to see a solar or wind powered system that can produce the kinds of energy needed to refine mined ore into usable materials.
It is simply nonsense to believe that energy is free. The sunlight and wind are free---the machinery to convert it to our use is indeed costly.

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 09:18 PM
a reply to: ~Lucidity

Even though we are discovering new sources of renewable energy it will be never prevent the inevitable collapse of civilization when oil runs out.

posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 09:26 PM
a reply to: starwarsisreal

I think civilization will adapt. But along these lines, I think we better think about alternatives for other things we rely on that are petroleum-based, like medical supplies as the first priority example that comes to mind, and pretty quick too. People are working on this as well.

posted on Aug, 20 2015 @ 08:44 AM
It is the future. I wouldnt worry to much about birds, they are supposed to be putting in systems in place that will scare away birds. The last thing a solar concentrator would want is bird poop all of over the mirrors. When we manufactured the mirrors for White Sands solar concentrator which was actually designed in the 70's. The mirrors were the backbone of that tech. They were able to reflect up to around 96% of the suns rays, I think these days they are up around 98%. And may incorporate flat panels now, the ones we designed were a 3-d bend, very hard to get the tolerance, due to how flat the bend was. I personanlly like the smaller solar concentrators, that are a trough design. not as many mirrors needed and still heats the solution inside the pipe to an insane heat

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