Renewable Energy

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Renewable energy comes from sources that are constantly replenished, like running water, the heat of the Earth, the Sun's light, or wind. Renewables account for around 11% of U.S. energy consumption and 17% of electricity production.


A wind turbine.

Renewable energy comes from sources that can be replenished on a human timescale, like biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind, and solar power. Renewable energy technologies generally have fewer environmental and health impacts than non-renewables. Like all energy sources, each renewable energy technology has its own advantages and disadvantages.   Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Latest News

Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
January 28, 2019 Throughout the month of January, several bills were introduced in the House relating to natural resource sustainability, especially at the energy-water nexus. On January 3, Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) and Frank Lucas (R-OK-3) cosponsored the Energy and Water...
House chamber
June 26, 2018 The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing to discuss three separate wind energy bills on June 26. A draft bill called the National OCS Renewable Energy Leasing Program Act would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331)...
Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
October 12, 2016 The World Energy Council, a United Nations-accredited global energy consortium, released its 2016 World Energy Resources Report on October 12. Since its inception in 2010, the report has shown a global trend toward a more diversified global energy portfolio. The report provides a...
IES Energy glyph
September 14, 2016 Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell approved Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) this September. DRECP is a coordinated effort between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and...
Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
September 8, 2016 House and Senate conferees for the Energy Policy Modernization Act met this September to discuss the progress they had made on reconciling the House (H.R. 8) and Senate (S. 2012) versions of the bill. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R - AK), author of the Senate version of the bill and...
Map of U.S. Geothermal Power Capacity. Image Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
#MapOfTheDay! Today the Critical Issues Program (@AGI_GeoIssues) shared a map of geothermal power generation capacity in each U.S. state from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (@NREL), which you can find at If you're interested in learning more about the cutting edge...
U.S. Capitol
July 12, 2016 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bill (S. 3169) that would authorize new basic energy research funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science programs by eliminating the long-standing wind production tax credit (PTC) that has helped to expand wind power...
Interactive map of renewable energy resources in Nevada
The Critical Issues Program #MapOfTheDay! Nevada's renewable energy resources all in one interactive map: 
Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
July 13, 2016 The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing to discuss the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (H.R.2663), a bipartisan bill with 67 cosponsors that was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in 2015. If enacted, H.R.2663 would...
Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
July 11, 2016 The Solar Fuels Innovation Act (H.R.5638) and the Electricity Storage Innovation Act (H.R.5640) passed the House by voice vote this July. The bills, which require the Department of Energy (DOE) to carry out two new basic research initiatives, received bipartisan support. The two...

Geological Surveys Database Publications

2016, United States Geological Survey
The renewable energy sector is rapidly expanding and diversifying the power supply of the country. Yet, as our Nation works to advance renewable energy and to conserve wildlife, some conflicts arise. To address these challenges, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting innovative research...
2014, United States Geological Survey
Lithium, which has the chemical symbol Li and an atomic number of 3, is the first metal in the periodic table. Lithium has many uses, the most prominent being in batteries for cell phones, laptops, and electric and hybrid vehicles. Worldwide sources of lithium are broken down by ore-deposit type as...
2017, United States Geological Survey
Solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind turbine technologies are projected to make up an increasing proportion of electricity generation capacity in the United States in the coming decades. By 2050, they will account for 36 percent (or 566 gigawatts) of capacity compared with about 11 percent (or 118...
2011, United States Geological Survey
The United States has embarked on a goal to increase electricity generation from clean, renewable sources by 2012. Towards this end, wind energy is emerging as a widely distributed form of renewable energy throughout the country. The national goal is for energy from wind to supply 20 percent of the...
2000, Kansas Geological Survey
This report will examine the history, current status, and future of energy in Kansas. Total energy consumption continues to grow in Kansas. However, Kansas is more energy efficient than 20 years ago. In 1998, 70% less energy was required per dollar of gross state product than it was in 1977. Growth...
2007, Colorado Geological Survey

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2005, Kansas Geological Survey
The multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW) method (Park et al., 1999) was applied to a total of eighty-four (84) turbine sites planned for the second phase construction in the Blue Canyon Wind Mill Farm (Figure 1) near Lawton, Oklahoma, for seismic characterization of the upper 15 m or so of...
1995, Kansas Geological Survey

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2006, Utah Geological Survey

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2012, United States Geological Survey
The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) initiative responds to a growing need for high-quality topographic data and a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation's natural and constructed features. The National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA), which was completed in 2011,...