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Portal:Energy

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The Energy Portal
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Welcome to Wikipedia's energy portal, your gateway to the subject of energy and its effects on the world around us. This portal is aimed at educating you about energy and all its uses.

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Introduction

Energy is a property of objects and systems of objects to act against a force (to do work), explored in branches of physics such as thermodynamics. Popularly the term is most often used in the context of energy as a public technology: energy resources, their consumption, development, depletion, and conservation. Biologically, bodies rely on food for energy in the same sense as industry relies on fuels to continue functioning. Since economic activities such as manufacturing and transportation can be energy intensive, energy efficiency, energy dependence, energy security and price are key concerns. Increased awareness of the effects of global warming has led to global debate and action for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions; like many previous energy use patterns, it is changing not due to depletion or supply constraints but due to problems with waste, extraction, or geopolitical scenarios.

First, somehow there is a movement. There happened to be a burst of motion first. Motion implies and embraces energy, includes energy in itself. That first movement is a systematic one. The energy is the “ability of that system to perform work.” After that first movement we have the energy to play with. The universe is the result of the work systematically performed by that burst of motion. Motion can be transferred, transformed and converted into different forms. Whenever we see or sense a work done that means a visible energy. From here on radiation of energy, electromagnetic radiation and so on is easy to follow.

In the context of natural science, energy can take several different forms: thermal, chemical, electrical, radiant, nuclear, etc. These are often grouped as being either kinetic energy or potential energy. Many of these forms can be readily transformed into another with the help of a device - from chemical energy to electrical energy using a battery, for example. Most energy available for human use ultimately comes from the sun, which generates it with nuclear fusion. The enormous potential for fusion and other basic nuclear reactions is expressed by the equation E = mc2.

The concepts of energy and its transformations are useful in explaining natural processes on larger scales: Meteorological phenomena like wind, rain, lightning and tornadoes all result from energy transformations brought about by solar energy on the planet. Life itself is critically dependent on biological energy transformations; organic chemical bonds are constantly broken and made to make the exchange and transformation of energy possible. Read more...


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Selected article

GlobalPeakOilForecast.jpg
According to Hubbert peak theory, peak oil is the date when the peak of the world's production of conventional petroleum (crude oil) is reached. After this date the rate of production is forecast to enter terminal decline, following the bell-shaped curve predicted by the theory. Due to the world's high dependence on inexpensive oil, it is thought that severe price increases may result, with serious implications for the global economy.

Acceptance of peak oil is far from universal, and the only reliable way to identify its existence will be in retrospect. One alternative scenario is that global production will eventually follow an 'undulating plateau' for one or more decades before declining slowly.

Having accurately predicted the date of peak production in the US petroleum industry, which occurred in 1970, M. King Hubbert, who devised the theory, forecast that the world peak would occur in 1995 'if current trends continue'. Various subsequent predictions have been made as trends have fluctuated in the intervening years. Two milestones have passed, however. The peak of world oilfield discoveries occurred in 1965 and, due world population growth, production per capita peaked in 1979.

The effects of peak oil could be mitigated through conservation and switching to alternative fuels or unconventional oil sources. Such changes would bring their own challenges, ranging from the need to development alternative technologies to potential increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Read more...


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Selected picture

Operation Upshot-Knothole - Badger 001.jpg

Photo credit: United States Department of Energy
The fireball created as energy is released in a nuclear explosion.


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Did you know?

  • According to research by the IPCC, government funding for most energy research programmes has been flat or declining for nearly 20 years, and is now about half the 1980 level?
Cyclone Catarina from the ISS on March 26 2004.JPG

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Selected biography

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Benjamin K. Sovacool is Director of the Danish Center for Energy Technology at AU Herning and a Professor of Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark. He is also Associate Professor at Vermont Law School and Director of the Energy Security and Justice Program at their Institute for Energy and the Environment. Sovacool's research interests include energy policy, environmental issues, and science and technology policy, and his research has taken him to 50 countries. He is the author or editor of sixteen books and 250 peer reviewed academic articles. Sovacool's work has been referred to in academic publications such as Science, Nature, and Scientific American. He has written opinion editorials for the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. Sovacool is a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Contributing Author. Read More...

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