Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


aka combined heat and power


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two useful forms of energy are produced from the same fuel source

corporate average fuel economy standards

caused the avg fuel efficiency to rise sharply for motor vehicles sold in the US



fuel cell
device that combines hydrogen gas and oxygen gas fuel to produce electricity and water vapor which is emitted to the troposphere
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

accredits building professionals in energy and environmental design


established energy and environmental design guidelines


certifies buildings as meeting its standards

green roofs

covered with plants


save energy


can be used on top of conventional houses or buildings or on energy-efficient, earth sheltered houses.

passive solar heating system
absorbs and stores heat from the sun directly within a structure without the need for pumps or fans to distribute the heat
active solar heating system

absorbs energy from the sun by pumping a heat-absorbing fluid (such as water or an antifreeze solution) through special collectors usually mounted on a roof or on special racks to face the sun


Most flat-plate collectors are made of dark-colored, heat-absorbing plates mounted in a box and covered with glass.


Some of the collected heat can by used directly.

solar power tower
Huge arrays of computer-controlled mirrors called heliostats track the sun and focus sunlight on a central heat collection tower
solar thermal plant
sunlight is collected and focused on oil-filled pipes running through the middle of a large area of curved solar collectors
photovoltaic cells

directly convert solar energy into electrical energy


tin wafers of purified silicon with trace amounts of metals such as gallium added that allow them to function as semiconductors


gaseous or liquid


converted from biomass

diverse source of energy that consists of organic plant materials and animal wastes that can be burned directly as solid fuel or converted to biofuels

ethyl alcohol


can be made by the fermentation and distillation of sugars in plants such as sugarcane, corn, and switchgrass


produced bioethanol


tall grass native to North American prairies that grows faster and needs less fertilizer than corn

diesel fuel made by combining alcohol with vegetable oil extracted from renewable resources such as soybeans, rapeseed, sunflowers, palm plants, and fats, including used vegetable oils from restaurants
geothermal energy
heat stored in soil, underground rocks, and fluids in the earth’s mantle
decentralized power system
local power systems – turbines
hybrid car

energy efficient gasoline electric vehicle


small traditional gasoline-powered motor and an electric motor used to provide the energy needed for acceleration and hill climbing

energy efficiency
using less energy to accomplish a particular task