A couple days ago I posted a link to a web site with basic energy information. The site is intended for students, but it's a great resource for anyone who wants a simple presentation of the basics of energy.
Yesterday I ran across another site intended for kids that takes a deeper look at a variety of energy sources, both renewable and non-renewable. Lots of good information here (if you can ignore the design, which is obviously kid-focused) and best of all, it's easily digestible.
And if you already have a deep understanding of energy basics, this might be a good link to forward to someone you know who doesn't.
I think it's safe to say that the general public's understanding of
energy (including mine, before I started this blog) is limited to
some vague recollection of things we learned in high school, then promptly forgot.
And that's a shame, because it's hard to make good informed decisions without the basics.
When it comes to building a conceptual foundation, sometimes simple is better. The Energy Story is a site aimed at students, but the simple picture it offers is a good primer for anyone who wants to get up to speed on the basics of energy.
Some encouraging information there. For example...
The report finds that government support for renewable energy is
growing rapidly. At least 48 countries now have some type of renewable
energy promotion policy, including 14 developing countries. Most
targets are for shares of electricity production, typically 5-30
percent, by the 2010-2012 timeframe. Mandates for blending biofuels
into vehicle fuels have been enacted in at least 20 states and
provinces worldwide as well as in three key countries—Brazil, China and
Government leadership provides the key to market success, according
to the report. The market leaders in renewable energy in 2004 were
Brazil in biofuels, China in solar hot water, Germany in solar
electricity, and Spain in wind power.
Here's a page from the US Department of Energy that lets you create a custom comparison chart for a variety of alternative fuels. You can compare them on numerous fronts, from chemical structure to energy content per gallon to environmental impact.
Scott Sklar is President of The Stella Group in Washington, D.C., a
distributed energy marketing and policy firm. Scott, co-author of "A
Consumer Guide to Solar Energy", uses solar technologies for heating and
power at his home in Virginia.
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