Questions tagged [energy]

the sustainable use, production, and storage of energy, through efficiency, conservation and renewable resources. Use this tag for questions on energy in general.

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11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do switchable sockets left "on" use electricity if there's nothing plugged in?

My flat is fitted with switchable sockets as per below: Please settle an argument a friend and I are having: if a socket is switched "on", is it wasting electricity if nothing is actually plugged ...
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

Powering a small apartment

I recently saw a sale on EcoFlow products (in this case, an EcoFlow Delta Pro Ultra Starter Kit) so I decided to contiue researching ways to power up my small apartment without having a rooftop full ...
3 votes
2 answers
98 views

How do buildings with eco-electricity know their electricity is eco?

Walking around the city centre of Warsaw I saw a poster placed by a construction zone of a new skyscraper. The poster said something along the lines "our building will use electricity from ...
1 vote
4 answers
166 views

How to express solar generator capacity in MWh if I have MW?

I have this dataset that is simply the nameplate capacity of different generators for a specific year in MW. I'm hoping to get a sum of all nameplate capacity for all solar generators for that year, ...
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

How much energy does it take to create a single light bulb?

This question is a part of this question. Perhaps it is better suited on the physics SE, but here goes. I would like to know how much energy it takes, in the modern world, to construct an ordinary, ...
51 votes
10 answers
3k views

How can I be more energy efficient in an apartment?

Usually when I see lists of things to do to be more energy efficient, they require one to own their own home. What can I do to be more energy efficient in an apartment? For example, I can't install ...
1 vote
1 answer
153 views

Renewable energy gravity storage

How would you calculate the gravimetric & volumetric energy density of a gravity based system like Energy Vault ?
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Gravity assist as energy source

The Gravity Assist allows for a spacecraft to gain more speed and energy ("stealing" it from the planet). Can this approach be used for creating power plants that generate "cheap" ...
2 votes
3 answers
73 views

Why would the smallness of Alaska's population be a factor in its per-capita energy consumption ranking?

PBS NewsHour segments often end with little fact-blurbs as text overlays, and the January 22, 2023 How an Alaska village’s switch to renewable energy helps local Native economies ends with the printed ...
1 vote
0 answers
22 views

How does the overall energy balance of freeze dried food compares to food frozen and transported over long distances?

I remember reading somewhere that freeze dried food is not common apart from coffee because the process is energy intensive and expensive. But I just thought that some food is frozen, transported for ...
5 votes
2 answers
124 views

Is there enough total Lithium in the Earth's crust to make sufficient grid storage to meet total global Winter energy demand?

I'm fact checking the statement: "There isn't enough Lithium in the planet (Earth) to store enough energy to make it 4 months through the Winter" here: https://youtu.be/fzzWVLSPgK4?t=192 ...
3 votes
1 answer
71 views

The EU made its top priority to stop buying Russian fossil fuels, even if it involves less sustainable energy sources. Is net-zero under threat?

With Putin having invaded Ukraine, Europe made getting rid of Russian hydrocarbons a more urgent priority than phasing out fossil fuels and other unsustainable energy sources. They now intend to ...
13 votes
6 answers
492 views

What is the least environmentally damaging way to start a fire?

I'm used to burning matches to ignite my incense. What is the least environmentally damaging way to start a fire ? to use matches or a lighter ? something else ? Of course a lighter would use ...
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is oil actually a renewable and sustainable resource, but we just use much too much of it?

Wouldn't it be great if we could just drill into the ground and find pools of a natural energy source? Sure. Well, that's oil. Oil is generally considered a non-renewable resource. But if humans ...
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the typical embodied energy of a solar photovoltaic panel?

What is the typical embodied energy of a solar photovoltaic panel, in terms of nominal power output or panel area? The ideal answer would be in kWh/WP, but kWh/m2 would also be acceptable. I ...
2 votes
1 answer
139 views

How much energy would it save to park cars in the shade in summer?

tl;dr: Cars get hot in the sun and it takes a lot of energy to cool them off. But most car trips are short, so the cars may not even get cool during that time. If they were parked in the shade, they ...
18 votes
4 answers
11k views

Storing food without refrigerator during the winter

I am unplugging my refrigerator for the winter months, I live in the northern United States so the temperature is sub freezing most of the time during winter. I have a semi-insulated garage that is ...
2 votes
2 answers
141 views

Can oil be used as a fuel source without contributing to global climate change?

I just posted this other question regarding oil, and as a follow-up, I would like to ask if oil can be used as a fuel source for energy without contributing to global climate change?
1 vote
2 answers
109 views

If we can capture landfill gas, why can't we capture cows' burps and use them as a source of energy too?

If we can capture landfill gas, why can't we capture cows' burps and farts and use them as a source of energy too? It's the same methane after all
0 votes
0 answers
17 views

How much methane is lost in extraction and transmision from different sources? [duplicate]

In recent years there has been a significant move towards electricity generation from natural gas. This has in large part been driven by the desire to reduce green house gas release. However methane ...
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Is environmentally-driven purchasing of coal mines a good idea?

Is environmentally-driven purchasing of coal mines a good idea? Certainly environmental non-profits won't have enough funds to do it on a large scale. Governments have, but they are corrupt. There's a ...
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Could hotels charge guests for the utilities they use to encourage conservation?

I travel often for work and stay in hotels. I have observed that with no direct incentive, it's often hard to stay motivated to make such sustainable choices as taking shorter showers, running the A/C ...
1 vote
2 answers
132 views

What do we do with all the coal mines?

Coal is going to be the first victim of the green energy revolution as the least sustainable kind of fossil fuel. What do we do with all the mines, both surface and underground ones? You can do quite ...
3 votes
2 answers
73 views

Is burning wood for energy less bad than forest fires?

Forest fires are considered a contributor to global warming, but using firewood is considered carbon-neutral. I'm not sure I understand it. In both cases, only the carbon that had been captured ...
-2 votes
2 answers
94 views

Can energy be both sustainable and reliable? [closed]

The sun doesn't shine brightly enough everywhere and is sometimes clouded. Winds don't blow always and are expected to become, overall, even weaker (that's what the IPCC report says anyway). Can ...
2 votes
1 answer
993 views

Renewables vs Fossil Fuel Cost Comparisons, without Subsidies

They said that Solar and Wind are now cheaper than fossil fuels. One of the primary reasons is subsidies and new technologies. Does anyone know the comparison research using No Subsidies. If we ...
12 votes
7 answers
5k views

What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

Which method of brewing coffee is the most sustainable? The criteria being: minimal waste, minimal energy (no matter where it's produced) I guess for the optimal solution it would be necessary to......
4 votes
1 answer
83 views

Is it more ecological to take a diesel ferry or drive an EV the longer route?

I'm trying to figure out my daily dilemma: whether it's less polluting to take a diesel ferry that hops me over the river (roughly 160 m) or to drive my electric vehicle (EV) on a 15 km detour to take ...
5 votes
3 answers
151 views

Electricity need to switch all cars from fossil fuel

For purely hypothetical discussion, I was asking myself how big electrical production increase would be needed for a first-world country when switching all cars from fossil fuel to EV only. I made the ...
1 vote
0 answers
242 views

What darknet would you choose (or is it not justifiable)?

I want to know if there are any darknets that are sustainable. I have my doubts about Tor due to their apparent interest in Proof of Work. https://blog.torproject.org/stop-the-onion-denial In ...
4 votes
3 answers
122 views

What quantity of basalt would power NYC with power for a day?

Some companies are refitting steam power stations to hot basalt, where many tons of rocks are heated to 750°C by wind power and the thermal energy is used to generate steam in power stations. How much ...
3 votes
2 answers
84 views

Is residential water pumping common?

Is it common for people on city water in the US to have their own on-site pumping as part of the "standard" delivery system, or is the pressure usually entirely supplied by the municipal ...
2 votes
3 answers
166 views

Is Hygenic Earth Energy feasible?

This company: https://proton.energy/ Is trying to inject oxygen into old oil wells for it to combust and extract only hydrogen using steam reforming and a filter. Making steam reforming happen ...
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Saving energy in the dryer: short and hot, or long and low?

Where I live, cold winters and humid summers rule out line drying for bulky items like blankets and towels for a few months out of the year. When I put them in my electric clothes dryer, which ...
4 votes
3 answers
269 views

Challenges of providing sustainable energy sources to meet future demand in Ireland

what are the main challenges Ireland faces as regards providing sustainable energy sources to meet future energy demand?
26 votes
5 answers
1k views

What form of electrical lighting has the smallest energy-footprint?

We all know that when it comes to household electrical lighting, LED lights consume the least amount of energy for a given amount of light, followed by fluorescent tubes, halogens, and Edison-age ...
3 votes
2 answers
177 views

What is the energy and greenhouse gas footprint of Skysource/Skywater water generator?

The Water Abundance X-Prize was recently awarded to the Skysource/Skywater alliance for: ... developing an easily deployable high-volume water generator that can be used in any climate, meeting the ...
0 votes
1 answer
40 views

Where in the US water system does most chilling occur?

A few studies I've seen investigating the energy intensity of water use in the US specifically enumerate the energy use of chilling*. Where in the system does most of that happen? How common/for what ...
12 votes
3 answers
571 views

Cost-effective alternative to rechargeable batteries?

Batteries are known to be the most unsustainable and expensive part of system exploiting renewable energy. So I am wondering, are there any alternatives to storing energy in batteries? Here I am ...
1 vote
1 answer
38 views

How does the cost of wastewater treatment scale?

Is it the case that some of the energy expenditure associated with wastewater treatment is more proportional to the amount/type of waste than to the amount of treated water (meaning that my water has ...
2 votes
3 answers
136 views

How to reduce indoor humidity in the summer time?

I own a home in southern Wisconsin, USA, where we have a humid continental climate (emphasis on humid!). There is no central air conditioning. This summer we are experimenting with cooling strategies ...
2 votes
0 answers
29 views

Long-run marginal energy cost of my water use?

As a residential water consumer on US city water, I am used to thinking about the marginal environmental cost (particularly energy cost) of my additional water use, based on considerations like ...
6 votes
2 answers
521 views

How to monitor energy use in existing office building without submetering?

Our office occupies one floor of a 4-story, one hundred year old building. We are making tenant-level improvements to our space, and are interested in lowering and monitoring our energy use, but are ...
11 votes
4 answers
415 views

How much wood can I burn sustainably, carbon neutral and in an ecologically responsible way from a forest?

While wood can - in theory - be a carbon neutral fuel, in practice burning wood creates a huge carbon debt and it may take a long time for all the carbon released by logging, soil degradation and so ...
21 votes
4 answers
159k views

Leaving the oven door open for heat - bad idea?

I've heard before that it's a bad idea to use an oven to heat your house, because it's inefficient and carries the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. But what about leaving the oven door open after I'...
21 votes
4 answers
7k views

Do USB outlets waste energy just like conventional wall warts?

It is widely known that most AC-DC converters (aka "wall warts") continually use electricity, even when no devices are plugged in to them. That wasted energy is often called "phantom electricity" or "...
6 votes
1 answer
263 views

Is Tesla Powerwall a good investment?

I'm trying to determine if investing in a couple of Tesla Powerwall units to store solar energy is a wise financial decision. My energy cost is $0.1649/kWh. The installed price of the two Powerwall ...
1 vote
1 answer
200 views

Is it possible to harvest energy from the storm?

My idea of a device for harvesting energy from wind If used in reality, this device will harvest significant amounts of energy from wind, waves and storms. This not only solved the problem of energy ...
5 votes
2 answers
152 views

Is an incrementalist approach to decarbonisation feasible?

There seem to be two broad approaches to the climate crisis. One centres around technological progress, where efficiencies, a gradual switch to renewables, and CCS enable a broadly similar model of ...
15 votes
2 answers
370 views

Should I replace existing inefficient light bulbs?

Similar to this question (except that's about cars), if I can buy more efficient light bulbs than the ones I'm using right now, should I? Or is it better to wait until my current light bulbs expire, ...