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The Energy Portal
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Welcome to Wikipedia's Energy portal, your gateway to energy. This portal is aimed at giving you access to all energy related topics in all of its forms.

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The Sun is the source of energy for most of life on Earth. It derives its energy mainly from nuclear fusion in its core, converting mass to energy as protons are combined to form helium. This energy is transported to the sun's surface then released into space mainly in the form of radiant (light) energy.

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The SI unit of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, the chemical energy released when a fuel burns, the radiant energy carried by light, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature.

Mass and energy are closely related. Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy. For example, after heating an object, its increase in energy could be measured as a small increase in mass, with a sensitive enough scale.

Living organisms require energy to stay alive, such as the energy humans get from food. Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth.

Selected article

Climate change mitigation involves taking actions aimed at reducing the extent of global warming. This is in contrast to adaptation to global warming which involves minimizing the effects.

To avoid dangerous climate change, the energy policy of the European Union has set a 2°C [3.6°F] limit to the temperature rise, compared to pre-industrial levels. Of this, 0.8°C has already taken place and another 0.5°C is already committed. The 2°C rise is associated with a carbon dioxide concentration of 400–500 ppm by volume; as of January 2007 it was 383 ppm by volume, and rising at 2 ppm annually. Unless significant action is taken soon the 2°C limit is likely to be exceeded.

Strategies for moving to a low-carbon economy include development of new technologies, particularly renewable energy; electric and hybrid vehicles; fuel cells; public transportion; zero-energy buildings; Zero-Net-Energy USA Federal Buildings; energy conservation; carbon taxes; enhancing natural carbon dioxide sinks; population control; and carbon capture and storage. Environmental groups also encourage individual-lifestyle and political action, as well as action by business.

The Kyoto Protocol, covering more than 160 countries and over 55% of global emissions provides an international mitigation framework. The United States, the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter; and Kazakhstan have refused to ratify the treaty. China and India, two other large emitters, have ratified the treaty but are exempt from cutting emissions. International talks on a successor to the treaty, which ends in 2012, have begun.

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Photo credit: From an image by Grétar Ívarsson
Geothermal power, the harnessing of geothermal heat to generate electricity, is used in over 20 countries.

Did you know?

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  • Saudi Aramco is the largest oil corporation in the world and the world's largest in terms of proven crude oil reserves and production?

Selected biography

Enrico Fermi (September 29, 1901 – November 28, 1954) was an Italian physicist most noted for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, and for the development of quantum theory. Fermi won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity.

Fermi was well-known for his simplicity in solving problems. Whenever possible, he avoided complicated mathematics and obtained quick results based on order of magnitude estimates. Fermi also meticulously recorded his calculations in notebooks, and later used to solve many new problems that he encountered based on these earlier known problems.

After accepting the 1938 Nobel Prize in Stockholm, Fermi immigrated to New York with his family to escape the anti-Semitic laws of Fascist Italy, as his wife Laura was Jewish.

After working at Columbia University, Fermi went to the University of Chicago and began studies that led to the construction of the world's first nuclear reactor Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1). The first artificial, self-sustaining, nuclear chain reaction was initiated within CP-1, on December 2, 1942.

In the news

12 September 2020 – Second Libyan Civil War
The United States embassy in Libya reports that the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, has committed itself to end months-long blockade of oil facilities, saying that "the LNA had conveyed personal commitment from General Haftar to allow the full reopening of the energy sector no later than September 12". (Reuters)
4 September 2020 – Nuclear program of Iran
The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran has stockpiled 2,105 kilograms (4,641 lb) of enriched uranium, violating the 300 kilograms (660 lb) limit under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. (DW)
3 September 2020 –
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres urges Japan and other wealthy nations to give up on their reliance on fossil fuels and invest in green energy. Guterres noted that many countries are using green energy to keep global warming at 1.5 °C (2.7 °F). (AP)
1 September 2020 – Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 recession
German economic minister Peter Altmaier reports that the country's economy is facing an "unexpected" V-shaped recovery with its GDP currently forecasted to decline by 5.8% in 2020, in contrast to an earlier projection of a 6.3% decline. (AFP via Malay Mail)
21 August 2020 –
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the drilling ship Fatih has found 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in the Black Sea, Turkey's biggest natural gas find to date. If Turkey can extract the gas commercially, it will be able to reduce its reliance on imported energy. (BBC)
19 August 2020 – Nuclear power in the United Arab Emirates
The first unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, the first nuclear power station in the Arabian Peninsula, is connected to the country's electrical grid. According to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the completion of three more APR-1400 nuclear reactor units would result in the provision of 25% of the UAE's electricity and a reduction of carbon emissions by 21 million tons a year. (CNBC)


  • "Without radical international measures to reduce carbon emissions within the next 10 to 15 years, there is compelling evidence to suggest we might lose the chance to control temperature rises. Failure to act will make an increase of between 2 and 5 degrees [3.6 - 9°F] in average temperatures almost inevitable." – Tony Blair, 2006
  • "The question is not whether climate change is happening or not, but whether, in the face of this emergency, we ourselves can change fast enough." – Kofi Annan, 2006
  • "I promise you a day will come when our children and grandchildren will look back and they will ask one of two questions. Either they will ask, 'What in God's name were they doing? Didn't they see the evidence?' Or, they may look back and say 'How did they find the uncommon moral courage to rise above politics and redeem the promise of American democracy?'" – Al Gore, 2007, on global warming.

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