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How it Works

Power Sources

Improved Energy Efficiency

By upgrading homes and buildings, less energy is needed in the first place. This is the “low-hanging fruit” of the energy challenge. When we improve our energy efficiency, some new power plants will never need to be built!

Blasted and dug from the ground, coal burns to power a steam turbine generator, which makes electricity.

Heat from nuclear fission, or splitting the nuclei of uranium atoms, powers a steam turbine generator, producing electricity.

Burning trees, plants, crop waste and trash can power a turbine and generate electricity.

Drilled from underground deposits, natural gas is mostly methane. It is burned, spinning a turbine and a generator. Exhaust heat powers a second turbine.

Solar cells convert the Sun's radiant energy into electricity. Since the Sun will shine for another few billion years, this is probably a safe bet for Earth.

The wind blows, spinning a generator to produce electricity. Since wind and weather are driven by solar energy, it’s renewable.

The electrical grid is a giant, complex machine, connecting energy sources to energy users nationwide. See the mind-boggling paths power takes to reach you.

Wind and solar power are variable. But what if we could capture that energy to have when it’s needed? New energy storage technologies are the key.

This developing technology's goal is to trap some carbon dioxide from power plant smokestacks before it can get into the atmosphere and affect our climate.

Images: Natural Gas, America's Power Grid, Energy Storage, Carbon Capture from sites linked.