Energy is what makes the world go round. It powers our computers, cars, homes, and cities. For hundreds of years we have been using different power sources to make our lives easier, and with growing technologies it has become easier and easier for us to access the power we need.
The classic sources of power include burning coal, transporting oil and gas with penthouse tubes for use in plants, and nuclear power plants. Of course, as the world’s reserves of these power sources begin to diminish, we need to look to other sources that can be sustained for a long time.
This is why renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower have been so transformative in our world. Today we want to take a look at some of the most interesting facts about these resources and how they will better the world.
1. Solar energy has the capability to power the whole earth for a whole year. The sun’s energy is limitless and we can use solar power every single day to power every part of our lives.
2. 50% of the energy used in the US is through biomass. Wood and paper are both primary sources of this power.
3. Geothermal energy was first used in 1860 to power hotels in Oregon. Hot springs in the area were used to help heat water in rooms. The first geothermal plant was not introduced until 1921.
4. China is the leader for wind power generation globally. There are more than 92000 turbines in China that are capable of powering vast parts of the country.
5. Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm was the first offshore wind farm built in 1991, close to Lolland in Denmark. It was taken down in 2017 due to cost.
6. Solar Impulse 2 was the first plane to be powered entirely by renewable energy and completed its tour in 2015.
7. Hawaii is home to the largest wind turbine in the world, standing at 20 stories.
8. Wind, Solar, Water (hydropower), Biofuel and Geothermal (from the heat under the earth) are the major renewable energy sources worldwide and are continuing to grow.
9. By 2050 the whole world could be solely powered by renewable energy sources.
10. The photoelectric effect was discovered by Alberty Einstein in 1921, and this is the basis of how solar panels work in our world.
11. ‘Green internet’ is an eco-friendly approach adopted by giants such as Google and Apple, and it involves them using renewable energy to power the internet.
12. Geothermal power offers a larger global resource than oil, gas, coal, and uranium combined. By using the heat generated under the surface of the earth, geothermal power is an effective source of power and can be used for many purposes.
13. The European Union (EU) got 17% of its energy from renewable sources in 2016 and this percentage continues to rise as the EU tries to cut carbon emissions.
14. Water is the most common source of renewable power in the world and can meet the needs of over 28 million people.
15. The largest hydropower station in the world is the Three Gorges hydroelectric power plant in Yichang, China.