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Powering the Planet

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Wal-Mart’s Green Fleet
The retailer is adapting its trucking fleet to be more fuel efficient by making design changes to the fleet, storing more products in one truck and planning to add hybrid trucks next year.
  • Powering The Planet -- Editor's Introduction Monday, 23 Jun 2008 | 10:27 AM ET

    It's all about energy, these days.   This special report, "Powering The Planet", aims to inform and educate you about the global energy challenge. Now and over the coming months, you'll find useful guides on energy sources and investments, a resource center with related links on a host of subjects, as well as an exhaustive library of videos from CNBC. Users will also be able to access a special collection of podcast videos for downloading. And speaking of taking it with you, take our customized widget, please.

  • Investment Guide: Exchange Traded Funds Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:52 PM ET

    Not long ago, it was hard for retail investors to play the oil patch. Not anymore. As the energy bull market rages on, investors looking for a piece of the gains in oil and gas (and alternative energy) need only select from the dozens of energy-oriented Exchange Traded Funds (ETFSs) that are cropping up to meet demand.

  • Resource Center: Research Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:57 PM ET

    The reports below offer analysis and research on different parts of the energy industry,  such as the potential for wind energy, higher energy efficiency for low-income neighborhoods and the affects of biofuels on the economy.

TOP STORIES

NEED TO KNOW:

  • Biofuels Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:53 PM ET

    The US move to biofuels has been a remarkably successful experiment in renewable energy promotion despite its inadvertent, and probably exaggerated, effect on higher agricultural prices.  But the industry's future lies in next generation, non food-derived  biofuels.

NEED TO KNOW

  • Clean Coal Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:53 PM ET
    Coal Plant

    Coal’s future role as a key source of US electricity depends on dramatically reducing its carbon emissions.  So-called clean coal is an expensive and technologically challenging endeavor, but given America's vast reserves it may very well be worth it.

  • Geothermal Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:52 PM ET

    Geothermal power has not only been getting investor attention recently, but it can lay claim to being perhaps the oldest of renewable energy sources.  It is also genuinely renewable. Estimates vary considerably, but all say the potential is vast compared to what exists today.

  • Nuclear Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:53 PM ET
    Nuclear Power Plant

    Nuclear power may indeed be poised for a renaissance as many in the industry hope, but there have been false promises in the past.

  • Oil Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:54 PM ET

    The record run-up in oil prices over recent years is igniting fierce debate over the "peak oil" theory — that once the maximum rate of global production is reached, a steep decline ensues.   Here we present two squarely opposed viewpoints on the issues from rivals who have been sparring for years. 

  • Solar Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:54 PM ET

    The future of this renewable energy source is bright,  especially since it's expected to be  cost-competitive within five years. And the US is well-positioned to benefit.

  • Wind Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:52 PM ET

    Even with erratic federal and state subsidies, wind capacity in the US has blossomed since 2000, and there is now enough to serve 5 million homes. The Energy Dept. estimates wind could fulfill 20 percent of our electricity needs by 2020 if the right infrastructure is put in place.

  • Technology Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | 3:54 PM ET

    With growing talk about peak oil — when the globe’s petroleum reserves begin an inexorable decline — exploration companies are increasingly turning high-tech to delay this eventuality.   There's been stunning advances in the industry's ability to visualize what lies deep underground and to extract more of what's down there.

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