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Can renewable energy sources power the world?
Can renewable energy sources power the world?

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10 Summary

To sum up this first week, you have:

  • briefly described the historical evolution of renewable energy sources
  • described the key characteristics of a ‘sustainable’ energy source and outlined some basic energy principles and terminology, along with some definitions of ‘renewable energy’, explaining that the primary source of nearly all forms of renewable energy is the Sun
  • explained the differences between primary energy, delivered energy and useful energy, and gave data on world energy consumption per person, plus some statistics on total world energy consumption and the proportion contributed by renewables
  • looked at the UK and the contributions of renewables to delivered energy in all forms, and to electricity in particular
  • looked briefly at climate change and the contribution to global warming that is being made by the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion
  • overviewed renewable energy sources, starting with direct solar thermal energy and solar photovoltaics, followed by indirect solar sources – biofuels, hydropower, wind and wave energy
  • looked briefly at UK and European targets for the contributions of renewable energy to be achieved by 2020 and by 2030, including projections of the potential renewable contributions to electricity, heat and transport fuel needs
  • looked at a case study describing Scotland’s ambitious plans for a major expansion of its renewable energy supplies over the coming decade.

You can now go to Week 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .