Renewable Energy Technologies

I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

—Thomas Edison

Now that we understand the historical development of electricity and dependence on fossil fuels, it is time to look to the role of renewable energy in reshaping the electric grid. In this chapter, we will review the science and applications of hydropower, solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, hydrogen fuel cells, and batteries.


It is fitting to begin with hydropower as it plays a pivotal role in the history of electrification. We have long dreamed of harnessing the power of rivers and waterfalls—and for centuries have successfully used ...

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