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Welcome to Wikipedia's Energy portal, your gateway to energy. This portal is aimed at giving you access to all energy related topics in all of its forms.


The Sun is the source of energy for most of life on Earth. It derives its energy mainly from nuclear fusion in its core, converting mass to energy as protons are combined to form helium. This energy is transported to the sun's surface then released into space mainly in the form of radiant (light) energy.

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The SI unit of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, the chemical energy released when a fuel burns, the radiant energy carried by light, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature.

Mass and energy are closely related. Due to mass-energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy. For example, after heating an object, its increase in energy could be measured as a small increase in mass, with a sensitive enough scale.

Living organisms require energy to stay alive, such as the energy humans get from food. Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the Sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth. (Full article...)

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Oil shale, an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock, contains significant amounts of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which technology can extract liquid hydrocarbons. The name oil shale represents a double misnomer, as geologists would not necessarily classify the rock as a shale, and its kerogen differs from crude oil. Kerogen requires more processing to use than crude oil, which increases its cost as a crude-oil substitute both financially and in terms of its environmental impact.

Deposits of oil shale occur around the world, including major deposits in the United States of America. Estimates of global deposits range from 2.8 trillion to 3.3 trillion barrels of recoverable oil.

The chemical process of pyrolysis can convert the kerogen in oil shale into synthetic crude oil. Heating oil shale to a sufficiently high temperature will drive off a vapor which processing can distill (retort) to yield a petroleum-like shale oil--a form of unconventional oil--and combustible oil-shale gas (the term shale gas can also refer to gas occurring naturally in shales). Industry can also burn oil shale directly as a low-grade fuel for power generation and heating purposes and can use it as a raw material in chemical and construction-materials processing.

Oil shale has gained attention as an energy resource as the price of conventional sources of petroleum has risen and as a way for some areas to secure independence from external suppliers of energy. At the same time, oil-shale mining and processing involve a number of environmental issues, such as land use, waste disposal, water use, waste-water management, greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution. Estonia and China have well-established oil shale industries, and Brazil, Germany, Israel and Russia also utilize oil shale.

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Photo credit: United States Department of Energy
The fireball created as energy is released in a nuclear explosion.

Did you know?

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  • Saudi Aramco is the largest oil corporation in the world and the world's largest in terms of proven crude oil reserves and production?

Selected biography

James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematician and theoretical physicist. His most significant achievement was formulating a set of equations – eponymously named Maxwell's equations – that for the first time expressed the basic laws of electricity and magnetism in a unified fashion. Maxwell's contributions to physics are considered by many to be of the same magnitude as those of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

Maxwell studied natural philosophy, moral philosophy, and mental philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, before graduating in mathematics at the University of Cambridge, where he would conduct much of his career. He built on Michael Faraday's work on magnetic induction, using elements of geometry and algebra to demonstrate that electric and magnetic fields travel through space, in the form of waves, and at the constant speed of light. Finally, in 1861, Maxwell proposed that light consisted of undulations in the same medium that is the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena. In the same year he was elected to the Royal Society.

In 1864, Maxwell presented what are now known as Maxwell's equations to the Royal Society. These collectively describe the behaviour of both the electric and magnetic fields, as well as their interactions with matter.

In the news

2 April 2021 - Aftermath of the Battle of Palma
French energy company Total SE ceases operations and evacuates all of its staff from its power plant in the Cabo Delgado Province, after IS-CAP insurgents infiltrate a security perimeter surrounding the liquefied natural gas reserves where the plant is located. (TRT World)
27 March 2021 - China-Iran relations
China and Iran sign a 25-year cooperation agreement at a live televised ceremony in Tehran, following a two-day state visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The accord is expected to significantly increase Chinese investment in Iran, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. (Reuters)
5 March 2021 -
The German government reaches an agreement with energy providers to compensate them up to EUR2.4 billion for loss in income attributed to the phase-out of nuclear power, ending years of litigation. (DW)


  • "My administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change. We recognize our responsibility and will meet it - at home, in our hemisphere, and in the world." - George W. Bush, 2001
  • "While the Kyoto Protocol is a crucial step forward, that step is far too small. And as we consider how to go further still, there remains a frightening lack of leadership." - Kofi Annan, 2006
  • "It is going to be very difficult to keep temperature increases down to between 2 and 3 degrees centigrade [3.6 - 5.4°F]. We should work very hard to do that." - Nicholas Stern, 2006
  • "Halting global warming requires urgent, unprecedented international cooperation, but the needed actions are feasible and have additional benefits for human health, agriculture and the environment." - James E. Hansen, 2004

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