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Renewable Energy 101

What Is Renewable Energy?

What Is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is a term used to describe energy that is derived from resources, like the sun and the wind -- resources that are continually available to some degree or other all over the world. We never run out of them. And their use or capture does not inflict any material damage on the environment. Sunlight is the source of most renewable energy power, either directly or indirectly. The sun...

Solar

Solar

Sunlight is earth's most ubiquitous form of energy. It is clean, inexhaustible, and the United States boasts one of the largest solar resources of any industrialized country. In the last decade, both distributed generation (small-scale installations located close to where the energy is ultimately used) and utility-scale generation have grown rapidly, and this expansion has brought solar energy into new realms of competitiveness. With effective support, solar energy can help...

Wind

Wind

A wind energy system transforms the kinetic energy of wind into mechanical or electrical energy that can be harnessed for practical use. Mechanical energy, most commonly used for pumping water in rural or remote locations, powers the “farm windmill” still seen in many rural areas of the U.S. Wind turbines generate electricity in a straightforward way: wind moves the blades of the turbine, which spin a central shaft. The shaft...

Biofuel

Biofuel

Biofuels are transportation fuels made from organic materials. These fuels are usually blended with petroleum, but they can also be used in their pure form. Ethanol and biodiesel are the leading forms of biofuel, and, compared to the fossil fuels they replace, are cleaner-burning and produce fewer air pollutants or carbon emissions. Ethanol is an alcohol fuel made from the sugars found in a wide range of feedstocks. Most of...

Biomass

Biomass

Biomass refers a wide range of biological materials used as sources of energy. While wood products are the most common form of biomass power, a host of feedstocks can be used for electricity generation, including a variety of crops, agricultural waste, yard clippings, and even municipal solid waste (MSW). In addition to producing electricity, biomass can also be used for space and domestic water heating, process heat, and the thermal...

Geothermal

Geothermal

Geothermal energy systems rely on two basic components: the heat beneath the earth’s crust, and the subterranean waters that the earth’s heat will turn to steam. In most geothermal systems, accessing these components involves drilling as deep as two miles below the surface of the earth. In direct-use geothermal systems, the earth’s natural steam is piped directly into buildings to warm them in winter and, perhaps surprisingly, to cool them...

Ocean

Ocean

Marine energy technologies harness the natural movement or temperature of bodies of water to produce energy, and include wave, tidal, marine current, and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). The technical potential for marine energy is very large, though most technologies are in development stages. Tidal Energy: Tidal energy installations come in two general forms: tidal barrage energy and tidal stream generators. A tidal barrage is usually a structure constructed at...

Hydro

Hydro

Hydroelectric power is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy. Through the conversion of the kinetic energy of flowing water into electricity, hydroelectric power provides a steady and reliable source of renewable energy.The same physics lie behind the design of all hydroelectric systems: A dam is used to capture and store water; pipes, or penstocks, carry the water from a high reservoir, downhill, toward turbines in a power station, with...

Waste

Waste

Waste-to-energy (WTE) is a reliable and renewable process of converting waste materials into electricity. Municipal waste is collected by local authorities from residential, commercial, and public origins, disposed in a central location, processed, and then combusted to produce heat and/or power. In WTE facilities, trash is either burned directly or processed and shredded to produce a fuel before being combusted. The heat from the burning garbage boils water flowing inside...

Waste Heat

Waste Heat

Throughout the United States, an abundant source of emission-free power is being overlooked.  This source is waste heat, a byproduct of industrial processes that could reinvigorate American manufacturing, create jobs, lower the cost of energy and reduce overall emissions from electric generation.  If not captured and used to generate emission-free renewable-equivalent power, waste heat is released to the atmosphere through stacks, vents, flares and mechanical equipment. Waste Heat to Power...

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Welcome Renewable Energy Supporters!

Donate to ACORE’s renewable energy educational campaign. A portion of the proceeds will go towards our first annual Renewable Energy Fellowship Program. Students pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math can apply to receive a funded fellowship at Lockheed Martin during the summer of 2015. For more details on how to support renewable energy, click here.

What Is STEM?

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“STEM” refers to the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. There continues to be an ever greater demand for professionals with these educational backgrounds to build a strong, secure, economically viable and sustainable future.

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