One of the most exciting things about the work that I do is having the opportunity to get out of the office and talk with the public about energy efficiency and renewable energy. Last month, we held the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 here in Washington, D.C. at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park. Talking with visitors to the event, I got to meet people from many walks of life, some of whom are already very knowledgeable about clean energy technologies and some who are curious and eager to learn more. One of the things I always tell people who ask me for more information is to come check out the videos on DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website to find out more.
My favorite resource that I point out to people who want to learn quickly about the basics of clean energy technologies – and how clean energy can also help them save money on their monthly energy bills – is our collection of Energy 101 videos. These engaging educational videos pack a lot of key information into just a few minutes and can get you up to speed in a hurry. (And for media, we also have an amazing “B-roll” footage collection.)
There are a few Energy 101 videos that fit right into the mission of our Energy Savers website and feature energy-saving tools, products and design strategies that you can take advantage of today. Titles in this category include:
- Lighting Choices (scroll down to watch the video),
- Home Energy Checkup,
- Cool Roofs,
- Solar PV (short for photovoltaic solar panels),
- Geothermal Heat Pumps, and
The rest of the Energy 101 videos offer overviews of specific energy efficiency or renewable energy technologies used by businesses or utilities. Energy Efficient Data Centers gives viewers a better understanding of how clever engineering has made data center systems – which have become the mainstay data storage solution for large internet firms – store information using less energy than ever before. Wind Turbines examines the physics and design principles behind these graceful feats of modern engineering, delivering cost-competitive, renewable electricity to markets today. Our Concentrating Solar Power 101 takes a close look at this emerging technology that uses reflectors to concentrate the sun’s rays to generate clean energy for use by utilities and their customers.
And there are more on the way. In the coming weeks we’ll launch our Lumens 101 video, which shows you how to shop for energy-saving light bulbs using lumens – or brightness – instead of watts. Soon, we’ll also make our new Energy 101 video on Electric Vehicles – a broad overview of the features and advantages of energy efficient electric vehicles – available to the public.
I hope that teachers and consumers who want to get the latest on clean energy technologies, and anybody else who’s curious about recent innovations in the field, will take full advantage of this treasure trove of educational information.
Eric Barendsen is a communications specialist and former Presidential Management Fellow with EERE's Communications and Outreach office in Washington, D.C.