Energy Production

The greatest need modern civilizations have is energy. Learn about oil, electricity and newer forms of energy like solar and wind power.

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The cost of solar panels depends on how sunny it is where you live, how much you spend on electricity and what size PV system you need. Learn what factors into the cost of solar panels in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

A submersible MODU is a mobile offshore (oil) drilling unit on an underwater barge. Learn more about what a submersible MODU is in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Americans consume a lot of oil in a number of ways. Learn about how much oil the U.S. produces and imports in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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Although we use oil all the time, most of us don’t know where it comes from. Learn how oil was trapped beneath the Earth's surface from this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Enriched uranium produces heat that can be used to generate electricity. Learn how nuclear fission is turned into electrical energy in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

In a nuclear reactor the temperature must be controlled at all times to prevent overheating or to create power by induced fission. Learn how engineers control the criticality of uranium in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

An oil rig crew prepares the land by clearing and leveling it, drilling a well for water and then drilling a reserve pit. Learn how they prepare land for an oil rig in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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You can back up your solar panels with a generator, by connecting to the utility company, or with batteries. Learn how you can back up your solar panels in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Along with things like air, water, food and shelter, energy tops the must-have list of many folks, as it cooks our food, powers our cars and heats our homes. Exactly how many people can all that energy accommodate?

By Heather Quinlan

The 1927 song "Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong" celebrated France's free spirit. But can it also be applied to the country's dedication to and acceptance of nuclear power? How safe is this nonrenewable energy source?

By Heather Quinlan

Iron Man has his arc reactor, the humans in "Avatar" have their unobtanium and what would "Star Trek" be without dilithium crystals? Sadly, we have none of these. So what energy source will power our future?

By Robert Lamb

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Despite the best efforts of disaster prevention crews, oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill affected creatures and plants both on land and in the water. Is it possible to know the entire environmental impact of the spill?

By Jonathan Strickland

The global oil supply can't meet the demand forever. Will the last drops of oil lead to widespread anarchy, the end of globalization and the relentless exploitation of previously protected drilling sites?

By Robert Lamb

The ever-changing price of a barrel of oil has a lot to do with what we pay for gasoline at the pump. But do you know the four major factors that contribute to the price of oil?

By Patrick E. George

Americans use a lot of gasoline -- hundreds of thousands of barrels each month, as a matter of fact. But did you ever wonder where all of that gas actually comes from?

By Jamie Page Deaton

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No doubt about it, we rely on gasoline for a lot of reasons. The truth is, we have for more than a century at this point. But is that the only reason it's so hard to cut our dependence on gasoline?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Today, hundreds of nuclear power plants are located in countries across the globe. Together, these plants produce 14 percent of the world's electricity. Which nuclear reactors generate the most power?

By Jonathan Atteberry & Vicki M. Giuggio

Arctic oil is explained in this article. Learn about Arctic oil.

By Robert Lamb

These pics will take you to the jungles of Sumatra, the Niger delta and points in between all in the name of oil. Get ready to learn about oil all around the globe.

By Rick Mayda

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For decades, we've depended on an outdated, centralized power system that wastes power and occasionally fails to meet everyone's needs. The idea of a localized power grid, or microgrid, might just be the change we need.

By Robert Lamb

If you've ever seen a geyser letting off steam or witnessed a fuming volcano simmering under pressure, you know that the interior of the Earth is really hot. So where does all that heat come from, and is there any way to harness it?

By Stephanie Watson

Laws, treaties and the limits of human technology have kept some petroleum reserves just beyond the reach of oil companies. So where are they dying to drill?

By Robert Lamb

Drilling down thousands of feet in lightless ocean depths and transporting that oil to the surface without spilling it isn't exactly easy. Did we mention the rough seas?

By Robert Lamb

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The outer continental shelf of the United States could hold a sizeable amount of oil. But is it enough to make a difference in the price of oil?

By Jennifer Horton

When gas prices shoot through the roof, alternative technologies start to look even more interesting. This one uses heat to create energy, and all we really need is the sun.

By Jane McGrath