Energy Sitemap - Page 1 2016-09-26

Solar Power Pros and Cons: What to Know About Home Use
It's important to know whether installing photovoltaics for your home is going to be a good or bad idea. Learn what you should know about solar systems.

Options for Solar Power at Home
Learn how to harness the sun's power and lower your home electricity bill. Here are four easy solar power options all homeowners should consider.

How to Build a Wind Farm
Capturing wind on a large scale requires a wind farm, a collection of specially-designed wind turbines positioned across the landscape, or ocean.

Select a Breezy Location
The first step in building a wind farm is selecting a windy location.

Assess Wind Farm Risk to Wildlife
When planning a windfarm, assess the potential risk to wildlife.

Consider Costs and Financing of Wind Farm
Consider Costs and Financing of Wind Farm

Meet Legal Requirements
Meet Legal Requirements. Energy.

Identify Equipment and Wind Farm Design
Identify Equipment and Wind Farm Design

Secure Transmission Capacity
Secure Transmission Capacity. Energy.

Install, Test, and Run the Wind Farm Equipment
Install, test, and run the wind turbines and other equipment.

Waste Water Byproducts of Shale Gas Drilling and Fracking
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has become a controversial topic in shale gas drilling. Learn about the two types of fracking waste water.

Who Regulates Energy Companies in the U.S.?
Who regulates energy companies and the United States? Learn about the regulatory agencies involved in the federal oversight over utilities in the U.S.

High Pressure Gas Line: Know the Types Before You Dig
High-pressure gas lines can be dangerous if there is an accident with that pipeline. Learn to recognize the natural lines before you start digging.

The Types of Coal: Composition, Usage and Energy Value
Coal is still the fastest growing energy resource worldwide. Learn about the types of coal and how they differ by energy, carbon content, and usage.

Anthracite Coal Characteristics and Applications
Learn the facts about anthracite coal (a hard coal that's in short supply) from its unique characteristics to its uses in U.S. energy production.

Bituminous Coal Characteristics and Applications
The most common type of coal consumed in the U.S. is bituminous coal. Learn about its unique characteristics and applications in energy production.

Characteristics and Uses of Lignite or Brown Coal
There are several types of coal used for energy. Lignite, or brown coal, ranks last in heat and carbon content. Learn how it's used in the U.S.

CANDU Heavy Water Nuclear Reactor: How It Works
CANDU nuclear reactors are powered by uranium and cooled with heavy water. Learn how they work and how they differ from light water reactors.

Do Smart Electric Meters Pose Problems?
Learn about analog versus smart electric meters. Though smart meters provide detailed electricity usage data, are they always safe and accurate?

What Is Criticality in a Nuclear Power Plant?
Nuclear power plants are considered to be in a state of nuclear criticality when they are balanced and generating power at normal rates.

The Basics of Crude Oil Classification
Liquid petroleum pumped from oil wells varies by quality, economic value, and potential toxicity. Learn about the classifications of crude oil.

What Are Sources of Electricity That Charge Your Life?
What are sources of electricity that charge your beloved iPhone? Learn where electric energy comes from and the exact amount used to power the world.

How to Build a Wind Power Farm
Follow these steps to develop and build a wind farm. Learn how to consider everything from site selection to financing to wildlife impact assessment.

Energy Industry Trends
An introduction to trends in the energy industry.

Energy Regulations and Laws - Electric and Power Industry
Laws and regulations govern many facets of the energy, electric, and power industries.

How Electric Cooperatives & Commercial Utilities Differ
Explore the differences between electric cooperatives and commercial utilities and learn how cooperatives helped bring electricity to rural America.

Introduction to Nuclear Power from Fission Energy
Nuclear power plants contain reactors that create controlled chain-reaction fission, a process that continuously splits the nuclei of uranium atoms.

What is Fracking Sand?
Fracking sand is a material used to

How Salt Water Disposal Wells Protect the Environment
Salt water disposal wells contain and dispose of the toxic byproducts of oil and gas production under the supervision of the EPA and state agencies.

Sub-Bituminous Coal Characteristics
Learn why sub-bituminous coal is still the most widely used for generating steam power and industrial uses despite its impact on the environment.

Pros and Cons of Wood Burning Systems
Pros and cons of woody biomass energy - wood burning stoves, pellet stoves, and wood-fired​ boilers.

Smart Electric Meter Pros and Cons
Smart electric meters have advantages and disadvantages for utilities, customers, and the environment.

- By Category
An index of categories in the






Gas shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing - fracking operations
Images from gas shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing in North Texas.







Natural gas pipelines in Texas Barnett Shale
Natural gas pipelines in Texas Barnett Shale


verywell. Energy.

Frack pond and natural gas well site near residential Texas suburb
Frack pond and natural gas well site in the Barnett Shale adjacent to a residential suburb. Page 4.

Energy. Page 6.

Coal is a combustible dark rock formed underground by geologic processes. Coal is a finite, carbon-based energy resource that is burned to produce steam, which in turn produces electricity. The exact composition of coal can vary, based on where it was mined.

Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy captures sustainable power from heat deep in the ground, often by circulating dissolved gases and hot water that occurs naturally in areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Geysers are an example of natural geothermal energy. Today heating systems and electricity can be powered geothermally.

Solar Power
Solar power captures renewable energy from sunlight. Technology such as photovoltaics and solar concentrators convert the sun's energy into electricity.

Billing and Customer Relations
Electric utilities manage billing, customer care, and public relations to retain and serve customers.

Innovation and Technology by Electric Utilities
Innovative electric utilities are pursuing a variety of new technologies and programs.

Energy Industry Job Boards
Job boards that list career and employment opportunities in diverse areas of the energy industry, including oil and gas, coal, power plants, nuclear, and renewables such as wind and solar.

The U.S. federal government, along with California, Minnesota, and other states have enacted legal mandates to increase the use of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power.

The U.S. government assists the electric power industry through a variety of financial subsidies. These subsidy programs promote energy production, consumption, or conservation through direct spending, reduced taxes, funding research and development (R&D), assumed liability risk, tariff restrictions, government ownership of utilities, access to energy resources on public land, and consumer programs.

Wind Power
Wind power converts energy from moving air currents in the atmosphere to produce electricity. Much larger than traditional windills, today's wind turbines can produce megawatts of power. Wind farms are based on land and offshore.

Electric Grid Communications and Security
Communications and security enable and ensure a reliable, secure power supply across the electric grid.

Oil and Gas - Petroleum, Hydrocarbons, Methane
Oil is the common name for petroleum, or crude oil, a highly flammable energy source found deep underground. Crude oil contains hydrocarbons that were once fossils and organic matter and have been converted into a highly flammable thick liquid through geologic processes. A finite resource, crude oil is refined into fuel oil, gasoline (petrol), and industrial products. Natural gas also comes from deep wells and its hydrocarbons are refined into methane or liquified natural gas.

Automating energy production facilities and operations can increase efficiency, reliability, and profits.

Batteries and Energy Storage Technologies
Batteries and energy storage technologies are increasingly used by industries and utilities for distributed power.

Coal Mining Operations
Coal can be removed from the ground using a shaft mine, slope mine, drift mine, or surface mine (also known as open pit, open cut, open-cast, or strip mining). Deep seam techniques include room and pillar, longwall mining, shortwall mining, continuous mining, blast mining, and retreat mining.

A wide variety of equipment is used in energy generation, transmission, and distribution, including transformers, substations, gearboxes, solar collectors, photo-voltaic panels, turbines, inverters, magnets, drills, pumps, nuclear reactors, fuel cells, and more.

Energy Integration
Energy integration is the practice of connecting and enabling multiple power sources, such as intermittent renewable energy sources, so they can work in coordination to supply reliable electricity to customers even during peak demand.

U.S. Energy Laws - Energy Legislation and Regulation Glossary
Glossary of U.S. laws, legislation, and regulations that affect energy policy and the power industry.

Maintenance and Reliability
Power plants and electricity providers follow maintenance schedules and other quality assurance practices to ensure that their equipment and operations are reliable.

Metering enables utilities to calculate how much electric power their customers are consuming and bill them for energy usage. Smart meters are electronic devices that incorporate advanced communications technology and sensors to measure and control power usage. Often part of smart grid operations, smart metering can help utilities manage demand and give consumers greater control over power consumption.

Nuclear Power Generation
Nuclear power harnesses energy stored within the smallest particles of matter, called atoms. Nuclear energy releases atomic energy by shattering uranium atoms through controlled nuclear fission reactions. The heat produced when the atoms are broken apart is used to create steam. That steam is used to generate electricity.

Safety and Personnel
Developing and generating energy can be dangerous work. Safety procedures must be followed at power plants, coal mines, nuclear plants, gas wells, oil wells, and other sites to prevent explosions, spills, and other emergencies.

Smart Grid Technology
Smart grid technology includes sensors and specialized information communication systems to monitor, adjust, and optimize the flow of power through the electric grid. Ideally, smart grid technology helps utilities to minimize and meet peak demand for electricity. Smart grid technology enables consumers to lower energy costs through demand pricing.

U.S. Energy Regulatory Agencies - Glossary
A glossary of U.S. Energy Regulatory Agencies.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, Alternative, and Future Energy Generation
Hydrogen, fuel cells, micro-generators, kinetic energy, and other innovative power sources are options for alternative and future energy generation.Unlike traditional batteries that run down, fuel cells can provide continuous energy through thermodynamically closed systems. Fuel cells produce electricity and heat through chemical reactions that are catalyzed between a fuel and an oxidant. In hydrogen fuel cells, water is a waste product.

Biofuels and Biomass
Biomass energy uses carbon-based matter such as plant stalks, clippings, garbage, algae, wood, animal waste, and landfill gases to produce energy through decomposition, burning, incineration, or chemical processes. Bioalcohols are alcohol-based fuels that are produced biologically when microbes ferment or decompose biomass such as wood clippings, sugar cane stalks, animal waste. Examples of bioalcohol fuels include ethanol, methanol, propanol, and butanol.

Environmental Impact
Developing and generating energy can affect the surrounding environment and other natural resources such as water and air quality. A formal process, called environmental impact assessment (EIA), often precedes the development of new energy resources or expansion of power plants. Federal projects with significant impact on the environment require legal documents called environmental impact statement (EIS) and record of decision (ROD).

Fossil Fuels - petroleum, oil, natural gas, coal, hydrocarbons
Fossil fuels are carbon-intensive, non-renewable energy sources including petroleum (oil), natural gas (methane), and coal.

Federal Government Energy Regulation - Energy Laws
Federal government regulation and energy laws impact the U.S. energy industry, electric utilities, and consumers in various ways.

State and Local Government Energy Regulation
State and local government regulation impacts the energy industry and electric utilities in various ways.

Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is power from the sun (solar), wind, and heat deep within the earth (geothermal). Renewable, sustainable energy is harvested using photovoltaics, solar concentrators, wind turbines, wind farms, ocean waves, hydroelectric plants, and other methods.

Waste Management and Pollution Control
Mining, development, refining, and generation of energy are industrial processes that can release hazardous wastes and pollutants. These wastes and pollutants can include mercury from coal combustion, coal ash, radioactive waste, particulate air pollution, volatile organic carbons (VOCs), polluted water (for example produced water from hydraulic fracturing of gas shales), and other hazardous wastes.

Energy Book Reviews - Recommended Reading - Books About the Energy Industry
Books about all areas of the energy industry.


Hydroelectric, Wave, and Tidal Energy
Hydroelectric energy, hydropower, and wave power harness the movement of flowing or falling water to produce electricity. Examples include marine energy technologies, rivers that have been dammed, tidal power, pumped storage, and smaller scale hydroelectric installations.

Association Roundup
Trade and professional associations serve specialized areas of the energy industry and offer resources to companies and individuals.

Directory of Energy Companies
A directory listing firms involved in energy exploration, development, power generation, transmission, distribution, and other aspects of the energy industry. Companies that work in renewables, biofuels, oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and energy storage are included.

Global energy regulation updates and impacts
Impacts and updates on energy regulation and legislation around the world.

Oil and Gas Exploration
Geologists and geophysicists detect valuable underground oil and gas fuel supplies using sophisticated methods, such as gravity survey, magnetic survey, and seismic surveys. Finding and developing underground oil and gas reserves is considered the

Refining and Petrochemicals
Refining petroleum, or crude oil, begins with a process called fractional distillation that separates valuable hydrocarbons from impurities such as sulfur, nitrogen, and heavy metals. This process isolates propane, butane, gasoline, methane (natural gas), kerosene, diesel, lubricants, petrochemicals, and asphalt.

Gas pipeline warning signs in residential Texas neighborhood
Gas pipeline warning signs in residential Texas neighborhood. Page 8.

Natural gas pipeline work zone behind fence
Natural gas pipeline work zone behind fence. Page 2.

Pipes stacked and awaiting gas pipeline construction
Pipes stacked and awaiting gas pipeline construction. Page 4.

Natural gas pipeline construction underway
Natural gas pipeline construction underway

Roger Witherspoon
Guest author Roger Witherspoon

Bituminous Coal - Ranking #2
Types of coal are ranked by energy, carbon content, and usage.

Sub-Bituminous Coal - Ranking #3
Types of coal are ranked by energy, carbon content, and usage.

Lignite Coal - Ranking #4
Types of coal are ranked by energy, carbon content, and usage.

Comparative Ranking of Coal - Anthracite, Bituminous, Lignite
The fossil fuel coal is ranked by its energy and carbon content.

Anthracite Coal - Ranking #1
A description of anthracite coal.

Energy Abbreviations - Energy Content in Fuel
Abbreviations that express the amount of energy contained in fuel.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is a combustible energy source found deep underground and pumped up by wells. Formed from fossils and organic matter that have been altered by geologic processes, natural gas contains hydrocarbons that can be refined into pure methane or liquified natural gas.