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Fun Facts about Renewable Energy

Wind power

1. In 200 B.C., people in China and the Middle East used windmills to pump water and grind grain.

2. The first modern wind turbine was built in Vermont in the early 1940s.

3. Wind farms currently produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 600,000 families in the United States.

4. The largest wind turbine in the world, located in Hawaii, stands 20 stories tall and has blades the length of a football field.

5. An average wind speed of 14 miles per hour is needed to convert wind energy into electricity.

6. One wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes.

Click here to learn more about wind power and click here to make your own wind power toys.


Biomass energy

1. Almost half of the renewable energy produced in the United States comes from biomass sources, like wood and paper products.

2. In Iowa and Wisconsin, biomass energy from landfills and dairy farms is being used to make electricity.

3. In southern Iowa, a power plant is using a crop called switchgrass to make electricity.

Click here to learn more about biomass energy.


Hydro power

1. Water power has been used for grinding grain for more than 2,000 years.

2. The first U.S. hydroelectric power plant opened on the Fox River near Appleton, Wisconsin, on September 30, 1882.

3. Worldwide, water is the most commonly used renewable energy resource, providing enough power to meet the needs of 28.3 million consumers.

4. Hydro power currently provides about 10 percent of the electricity in the United States.

Click here to learn more about hydro power.


Geothermal energy

1. Volcanoes and geysers are examples of geothermal energy.

2. In 1864, a hotel in Oregon heated rooms using geothermal energy from underground hot springs.

3. The first geothermal power plant opened in California in 1921.

4. A professor at Ohio State University invented the first geothermal heating system in 1948.

Click here to learn more about geothermal power.


Solar power

1. More than 10,000 homes in the United States are powered entirely by solar energy.

2. Enough sunlight falls on the earth's surface every hour to meet world energy demand for an entire year.

3. Silicon from just one ton of sand, used in photovoltaic cells, could produce as much electricity as burning 500,000 tons of coal.

4. In the 1830s, the British astronomer John Herschel used a solar collector box to cook food during an expedition to Africa.

5. Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his experiments with solar power and photovoltaics.

6. The largest Concentrated solar power (CSP) solar power plant is in the world located in the Mojave Desert of California.

7. The largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in the world is located in Golmud Solar Park in China.

Click here to learn more about solar power and click here to make your own solar oven.

Golmud Solar Park in China