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