Energy Literacy

This web site supports an effort that tries to achieve a cultural change in how society views energy, its importance in the public’s economic well-being and its role in the public’s quality of life.  It is the interlocking nature of the three E’s; Energy, Economy, and Environment that you will see as you surf around this site.

On this website, you will find information about projects and products on which we are currently working; a section covering our public outreach efforts that contains position papers, etc., addressing the need for public literacy in the 3 E’s; and a section about who we are.

TEACHERS:  The Energy Literacy Project is currently researching and evaluating organizations that provide on-line lesson plans along with other educational materials focused on one or more of the three E’s.  This research project is an on-going effort as a result of the vast amount of organizations claiming to provide educational materials adequate for teaching students about one or more of the three E’s.  

MEDIA:  The ELP is continuously updating its site with new position papers whose topics directly relate to the Energy Literacy Project’s purpose.  Press releases on the ELP can also be viewed.  The ELP also provides a list of speaking and media resources.  This list contains individuals who have established themselves as professionals in the areas of one or more of the three E’s.   

Please come in, take a look around and send us any comments and suggestions you may have.  Your impressions are very valuable to us and will guide the future of our program.

5 Types of Renewable Energy

This is the form of energy that most people will be familiar with. Solar energy is derived from the sun and typically collected using reflective solar panels. These can be installed in massive farms in desert environments or they can be installed on a person’s home to help them reduce what they have to pay the electric company. This is a common and popular type of power that is getting more popular as people discover how easy it is for the average consumer to start harnessing it wherever they happen to live.

Hydro Energy From Water’s Motion

hydro energy

Hydro based energy sources are sometimes referred to as hydropower or hydroelectricity. Generally speaking, this kind of renewable energy is harvested by governments or very large corporations by building a dam. There are also micro hydro solutions, too, which might take power from a running stream that is relatively small. If you think about it, you may realize that while this is not necessarily a very viable option for the average home, it is an option that has been around for a while. Mill wheels used to harvest this energy for milling, a very simple form of energy harvesting practiced for many, many years.

Wind Energy in Certain Locations

wind energy

The wind produces a a great deal of available energy that can be harvested easily with the use of windmills. Windmills have been around for a very long time and could do simple tasks similar to the level that watermills could. Today, however, the average windmill can do much, much more in terms of generating a decent amount of energy and when windmills are “farmed” in large numbers they are quite good at generating power. However, there are still consumer grade windmills that people can use to harvest wind power if they live in a wind rich environment. This market is one of the fastest of the renewable energy types out there today and it is quickly becoming a primary source of electricity in the world because it is so easy to do and offers a good return on investment.

Bioenergy From Biofuels and Biomass


Biomass is a type of bioenergy that derives its energy production power from plants. Since plants are actually getting much of their energy from the sun itself through the process of photosynthesis, this is sometimes considered to be a type of solar energy. That would be something of an oversimplification, of course, but it is a way of looking at renewable energy that helps us understand it in a more holistic way. In order to harvest biomass energy, the plants must be burned after they are grown for this purpose. Depending upon where one lives, different plant types could be raised year after year to keep this a relatively viable way to produce usable energy.

Biofuels are a little bit different, but they still fall under the category of bioenergy. There are solid, liquid and gaseous forms of this type of renewable energy which can be directly employed as a source of fuel. Landfill gas harvested from today’s dumps is one example of a potential biofuel, another is alcohol made from a process of sugar fermentation that could work quite well in areas where sugar cane can be grown. As you might imagine, this type of renewable energy is useful because it can be stored and transported relatively easily compared to some other options that would need to be loaded into a battery first. Some people today even use recycled cooking oil or animal fat to create what is called biodiesel.

Geothermal Heat Straight From the Earth

geothermal energy

Harvesting renewable energy directly from the ground we stand upon is becoming an increasingly more popular way to go about generating electricity. Heat is constantly rising from the core of the planet to its surface, where we make our homes, and when this heat can be harvested it can also be used to our advantage. In some locations it is used to keep sidewalks warm so that they do not need to be cleared of snow in the winter. It is interesting to note that although this type of energy is being pursued with hi tech technologies today, even our ancestors long ago harvested this kind of energy to do their bathing and relaxing in prehistoric hot springs.