Energy Use

By guiakam
  • electricity

    -Ben Franklin (United States) tied a key to a kite string during a thunderstorm, and proved that static electricity and lightning were the same thing.
  • Coal

    Coal became the principal fuel used by steam-powered trains (locomotives). As the railroads branched into the coal fields, they became a vital link between mines and markets.More and more households and steamboats used coal for fuel. Coal was used to produce oil and gas for lighting.
  • Geothermal

    In the early 1800s to the eventual development of electricity production and geothermal heat pumps. The first known commercial use of geothermal energy in the United States occurred in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where, in 1830, Asa Thompson charged one dollar each for the use of three spring-fed baths in a wooden tub.
  • OIL

    Oil was first discovered when a homemade rig drilled down 70 feet and came up coated with oil. This rig was near Titusville (in northwestern Pennsylvania) and was owned by "Colonel" Edwin L. Drake.
  • Ethonal

    The Union Congress put a $2 per gallon excise tax on ethanol to help pay for the Civil War. Before the Civil War, ethanol was a major illuminating oil in the United States. After the tax was imposed, the cost of ethanol increased too much to be used this way.
  • Solar Thermal

    Solar Thermal
    Charles Fritts (United States) built the first genuine solar cell with an efficiency rate between 1% to 2%.
  • Nuclear

    Ernest O. Lawrence (United States) conceived the idea for the first cyclotron, a device used to produce high-energy beams for use in nuclear physics experiments. He was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics for this invention and for results obtained with it.John Crockcroft and E. T. S. Walton (United Kingdom) developed a high-voltage apparatus for accelerating protons, called a linear accelerator.
  • Hydropower

    Conventional hydropower plant capacity nearly tripled in United States since 1940. Poor salmon runs in the Columbia River system prompted Congress to pass the Pacific Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980. This Act established the Northwest Power Planning Council, responsible for the protection and recovery of salmon runs in the Columbia River system. These laws resulted in a more complex, expensive process to obtain a license for a hydroelectric facility.
  • Wind power

    Wind power
    Many wind turbines were installed in California in the early 1980s to help meet growing electricity needs and to take advantage of government incentives. By 1985, California wind capacity exceeded 1,000 megawatts, enough power to supply 250,000 homes. These wind turbines were very inefficient.
  • Natural Gas

    Natural Gas
    The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) issued the first natural gas futures contract. An agreement today on the price of a commodity (or financial instrument) to be paid for and delivered in the future. The Clean Air Act Amendments required many changes to fossil fuels to make them pollute less. The use of these cleaner fuels was phased-in during the 1990s. Natural gas was promoted as cleaner burning fuel in power generation and transportation, increasing the use of natural gas.