10 Common Energy Questions and Answers

1. Why is renewable energy called renewable, what does this mean?

This means that renewable energy (unlike fossil fuels) can be replenished in relatively short periods of time.

2. Which fuel is the most common source of electricity in the world?

The answer is coal, coal despite being very dirty fuel is also the cheapest energy option in much of the world. For instance, 49% of the United States electricity comes from coal.

3. Why does solar energy, despite the enormous potential, still count for such a small share of global energy supply?

Solar energy, indeed has enormous potential but solar power technologies are still very expensive, and also do not provide adequate efficiency to be used on a wider scale. This means that solar energy sector definitely needs cheaper and far more efficient solar cells in order to compete with fossil fuels.

4. What exactly is electricity?

The simplest definition would be the movement of electrons but this is in fact more general term that encompasses a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge.

5. How to solve the intermittency issue of wind and solar energy?

By finding cheap and efficient energy storage solution, some researches have shown tremendous potential to solve this issue but we are yet to see some commercially viable solution to this problem.

6. How long will fossil fuels last?

Difficult to tell as there are different reports about current fossil fuel reserves but to make things simple lets say about 150-200 years. Unless, of course climate change issue speeds up things a bit.

7. Why is using renewable energy good for environment?

Simple, because the more renewable energy we use the less we need fossil fuels, and less fossil fuels means less carbon emissions, and lesser impact on climate change and air pollution.

8. Are large wind farms a big threat for birds?

There have been some cases of bird deaths that were caught between gigantic blades of the large wind turbines but this issue can be solved with the introduction of radar that can spot the colony of birds flying towards turbines, and temporarily stop the blades until the birds reach a safe distance.

9. What is better energy option, solar or wind?

There is no exact answer to this question, and it all depends on area you live in. Generally speaking, wind energy is currently more cost-competitive compared to the solar energy, but as said before the economy of going wind or solar will primarily depend on area you live in.

10. What is the current US position in the global clean energy race?

Not very good, Chinese are far ahead (top producers of both solar panels and wind turbines, more than a million renewable energy jobs), and the US needs to significantly increase its current efforts to become more competitive. The national renewable energy policy would make a good thing to start with.

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For more information on renewable energy, please visit www.sceptreinternational.com

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