Biomass

Biomass refers to organic matter. Much biomass is renewable; that is, if you use it up you can create more. There is a lot of research and development being done to find ways to use renewable biomass to produce energy in a way that is safe, economical and non-polluting. For example, researchers are looking for ways to create energy out of forest and mill residues, agricultural and animal wastes, livestock operation residues, aquatic plants, fast-growing trees and plants, and municipal and industrial wastes.


Web:

http://www.biomass.org/
http://www.crest.org/bioenergy/
http://www.ott.doe.gov/biofuels/
http://www.westbioenergy.org/biolinks.htm


Coal

Coal is a fuel created from fossilized plants (similar to the way in which oil is created). Coal is almost entirely carbon with varying amounts of minerals. Although coal creates a lot of pollution when it is burned, it is still used in a good many places around the world (including the United States, where it is especially important to the steel industry).


Web:

http://www.coaltrade.com/
http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelcoal.html
http://www.isr.gov.au/resources/coal_vl/


Energy and the Environment

It's common these days to hear about what car smog is doing to the environment. However, there is more to energy and the environment than what your automobile is producing. Check out some of the environmentally related resources on the Net, gathered under one solar-powered virtual roof. You'll find information about alternative energy as well as traditional energy sources (such as fossil fuels).


Web:

http://www.eh.doe.gov/nepa/
http://www.ucsusa.org/energy/

Usenet:

Google Newsreader alt.energy.homepower


Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network

The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. government is putting a lot of effort into developing new energy technologies, and this Web site is a good place to learn about what's happening. I found an enormous amount of interesting information here. A lot of it is technical government stuff, but there are some fascinating areas, including special resources for kids. I particularly enjoyed reading about superconductivity.


Web:

http://www.eren.doe.gov/


Energy Efficient Homes

How energy efficient is your home? Here are some resources on the Net that show you how to improve your home's efficiency, help the environment, and save a few bucks at the same time. The Web sites will show you energy-saving tips. The Usenet groups are for the discussion of heating, venting and air conditioning.


Web:

http://energuide.nrcan.gc.ca/html/home.html
http://hes.lbl.gov/
http://www.energyguide.com/
http://www.energyoutlet.com/

Usenet:

Google Newsreader alt.hvac
Google Newsreader sci.engr.heat-vent-ac


Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is an independent statistical and analytical agency of the United States Department of Energy. The EIA compiles data relating to energy resources, supply and demand, technology, economics, energy policies, and more. The EIA's Web site has summaries and reports on energy consumption all over the world, as well as energy forecasts. (This is the place to check to see if you will have enough energy to play softball after work.)


Web:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/


Energy Talk and General Discussion

When you need a little pick-me-up, check out the Usenet groups where nerds around the Net energize themselves by talking about the science of energy.


Usenet:

Google Newsreader alt.energy
Google Newsreader sci.energy


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an independent regulatory agency within the Department of Energy. FERC (is that a cool name, or what?) regulates various aspects of the production of natural gas, oil, electricity, hydroelectric projects, as well as various related environmental and administrative matters.


Web:

http://www.ferc.gov/


Fusion Energy

Fusion, or nuclear fusion, is a reaction in which the nuclei of two light atoms combine, or fuse, into a larger, heavier nucleus. Nuclear fusion is responsible for the energy of the stars, including our Sun. Within the center of stars, hydrogen nuclei combine to form helium nuclei and, in the process, release energy. Hydrogen nuclei are positively charged and, as such, naturally repel one another. In the center of a star, however, the temperature and pressure are great enough to force hydrogen nuclei together long enough to fuse. On Earth, it is extremely difficult to create such conditions, which is why we do not, as yet, have any fusion reactors. However, much work underway is aimed at creating such technology. Although successful fusion reactors are probably decades away (at least), the promise of such technology is seductive: it would end our dependence on oil and gas without the problems of air pollution and radioactive waste.


Web:

http://fusedweb.pppl.gov/
http://wwwofe.er.doe.gov/

Usenet:

Google Newsreader sci.physics.fusion


Gasoline

Gasoline (called petrol in the U.K.) is a volatile hydrocarbon fuel, created by distilling petroleum and then processing the distillate. Gasoline is such a part of modern life that just the smell of it can invoke latent memories. I have a friend, who, when she was young, loved the smell of gasoline so much that she used to unscrew the gas cap of her parents' car and inhale the vapor. She even imagined creating a perfume with that same fragrance. Personally, I prefer freshly cut grass or patchouli oil, but then who am I to judge others?


Web:

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.asp
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasoline-faq/part1/
http://www.methanol.org/
http://www.ofa.net/


Hydroelectricity

Hydroelectric power is the largest renewable resource in the United States. Hydropower generates 10 percent of the power produced in the United States, equivalent to 500 million barrels of oil a year. In general, hydropower is an excellent energy source because it gives off no emissions when it is used, and the source of the energy is from water that is already laying around doing nothing in particular. However, there are problems. In order to create a hydroelectricity plant, water must be diverted and, often, dams must be constructed. These activities must be considered carefully as they can have negative effects on the ecosystems of the waterways. Still, I grew up in a place in which all the electricity was generated from hydropower, and I turned out pretty good.


Web:

http://www.hydro.org/hydrofacts.htm
http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/hdc/
http://www.usbr.gov/power/


Hydrogen Power

If you have lots of water and the right type of electrical current, you can whip up some hydrogen and create your own power plant. However, if you are low on water, you can also produce hydrogen from sewage, garbage, agricultural biomass, paper waste products and other waste streams that have hydrogen-bearing compounds. Check out these links for interesting information about using hydrogen as a source of fuel. And if you feel like talking, you can expend some hot air on the hydrogen Usenet groups.


Web:

http://www.eren.doe.gov/hydrogen/
http://www.hydrogenus.com/advocate/
http://www.tinaja.com/h2gas01.asp

Usenet:

Google Newsreader alt.energy.hydrogen
Google Newsreader sci.energy.hydrogen


Natural Gas

Natural gas is a mixture of gases that come from beneath the ground. Natural gas is mostly methane (80-95 percent) with the remainder varying according to the geographic locality. The minor components of natural gas may include helium, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and nitrogen. Natural gas is a fossil fuel and is often found with petroleum. However, natural gas can also occur by itself within sand, sandstone or limestone deposits.


Web:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/natural_gas/info_glance/natural_gas.html
http://www.iangv.org/html/sources/
http://www.naturalgas.org/


North American Electric Reliability Council

The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) was formed in 1968 to promote reliability of the electricity supply for the United States, Canada and parts of Mexico. Aside from the general warm feeling visiting this Web site should give you (knowing that reliable people are concerned about your electricity supply), you'll find a wealth of interesting information. For example, you can read the details of major electricity outages over the years, find out the current operating status of the nuclear power plants, and examine the assessment for electricity supply for coming seasons.


Web:

http://www.nerc.com/


Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy produces approximately 20 percent of the energy used in the United States. In general, nuclear energy is a versatile form of power. Aside from the production of electricity, nuclear energy is put to such disparate uses as cancer treatments, explosive-detecting machines, medical instrument sterilizers, and smoke detectors. Nuclear usage in the United States is heavily regulated by an independent government agency called the Nuclear Regulatory Commission


Web:

http://www.me3.org/issues/nuclear/
http://www.nei.org/
http://www.nrc.gov/


Petroleum

Back in the olden days (millions of years ago), nobody knew what to do with all the dead dinosaurs and various other organic matter that were just sitting around composting. It was entirely too much for primitive people to use in their tomato gardens, so they just left it laying there. Eventually a lot of the organic matter fossilized and turned into a substance that we process and use as oil, gasoline and natural gas.


Web:

http://www.api.org/
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/info_glance/petroleum.html

Usenet:

Google Newsreader sci.geo.petroleum


Renewable Electric Plant Database

If you are a professional or researcher in the area of renewable energy, you'll find this resource valuable. You can get data regarding how much renewable energy is used in the power grid. There is also information regarding power plants and their capabilities. The Web site contains information on more than 7,000 power plants, including those that are wind powered, geothermal, hydroelectric, solarthermal and photovoltaic.


Web:

http://www.eren.doe.gov/repis/


Renewable Energy

Right now, as you read this, there are clever people around the world thinking about ways to use renewable energy. They are coming up with new designs for batteries, generators, pumps and chargers to use wind, water and sun for fuel. Read about the neat gadgets they have modified or invented, or just check out the ideas and philosophy behind using renewable energy.


Web:

http://wire0.ises.org/wire/wire.nsf
http://www.caddet-re.org/
http://www.nrel.gov/

Usenet:

Google Newsreader alt.energy.renewable


Solar Energy

Where I live in California, there is a lot of sun. In fact, there is such an abundance of sunlight that I can use it to power my souped-up solar-powered surfboard. But even if you don't surf, you may still want to check out solar energy information on the Net. On Usenet, you can discuss various aspects of solar energy with all the other solar buffs, talking about everything energy-related under the sun.


Web:

http://www.flasolar.com/
http://www.ises.org/
http://www.mrsolar.com/faq/
http://www.wagonmaker.com/solar.html

Usenet:

Google Newsreader alt.solar.photovoltaic
Google Newsreader alt.solar.thermal


U.S. Department of Energy

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a large government organization responsible for a number of energy-related areas: maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, lots and lots of scientific research, managing the country's energy resources, and protecting the environment. The DOE's Web site contains a great deal of interesting material, far more than you would ever expect from a government department. If you are a student or teacher, this is a good place for you to explore.


Web:

http://www.energy.gov/


Wind Energy

I love to feel the wind in my hair while I am riding my skateboard. However, wind has other uses. It can also be harnessed for energy. You will find information about wind as well as experiments you can use for teaching about wind energy and windmills.


Web:

http://www.awea.org/
http://www.eren.doe.gov/RE/wind.html
http://www.nrel.gov/wind/
http://www.windpower.org/tour/


World Energy Statistics

Numbers, numbers, numbers. What do you do when you need to find out how much natural gas the world is going to use in the year 2010? Well, you could just wait until 2010, but that would take a long time. Wouldn't it be faster to check with the Net?


Web:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mer/contents.html