Energy

All energy comes from the Earth, its atmosphere, or its Sun. Some resources are mined or extracted, like coal, uranium, oil, and gas. Others, like wind, solar, tidal, and hydropower resources, are harnessed at the Earth’s surface. Geoscientists play an essential role in developing energy resources and evaluating their environmental impacts.

From the Research Database

View a sample of fact sheets, reports, and other resources available on this topic.

Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources
Utah Geological Survey

Case Studies

IES Water cover image
American Geosciences Institute

As we did a generation ago, we now face significant challenges — challenges that need to be met sooner rather than later to protect and grow our economy, build energy autonomy and preserve our resources for future generations. These challenges center on two resources: energy and water.

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A wind turbine. Image Credit: USGS/Photo by P Cryan
American Geosciences Institute

Humans have harnessed wind energy throughout history for milling, pumping and transportation — in a way you could say it’s the “original” form of industrial energy. But only recently have we built massive, powerful turbines to convert that wind into electricity.

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An earthquake-safe pipeline crossing the San Andreas Fault at Cholame, California. Image Copyright © Michael Collier http://www.earthscienceworld.org/images
American Geosciences Institute

In the last year or more, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about “fracking” — hydraulic fracturing associated with oil and natural gas production from shale formations.

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