The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Energy

The Cost of Energy

Energy use carries a hefty price tag—and not just in dollars. The cost to our environment and to our national security is steep. What factors should we consider as we make decisions about energy options for the future?

Environmental Impact

Average global temperatures will likely rise at least another 2°F, and possibly more than 11°F, over the next 100 years.

Our understanding of climate change and how it has varied over time is advancing rapidly as scientists acquire more and more data and employ new instruments and methods for their analysis. Get an overview of what we know now.

More about environmental impact

Security

Two-thirds of our oil supplies, as well as many other resources, come from foreign sources.

Many planners argue that our dependence on foreign oil threatens both our economy and our national security. What are their main concerns and what strategies might address them?

More about security

Sustainability

We are using fossil fuels many times faster than they are formed, a situation that cannot continue indefinitely.

The total contribution of renewable sources to our energy supply is projected to remain small unless we take aggressive steps toward accelerating their development. What are the consequences of continuing to depend on fossil fuels for our energy?

More about sustainability

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Energy Videos

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America's Energy Future

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Energy Hands-on

What do you know about energy?

As an automobile fuel, what amount of hydrogen compares with a gallon of gasoline?

  • Correct!

    A gallon of gasoline contains about the same energy as a kg of hydrogen. Although fuel cells are expected to be twice as efficient as gasoline vehicles, hydrogen is very diffuse and storing an ample supply on board represents an engineering challenge.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    A gallon of gasoline contains about the same energy as 1 kg of hydrogen. Although fuel cells are expected to be twice as efficient as gasoline vehicles, hydrogen is very diffuse and storing an ample supply on board represents an engineering challenge.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    A gallon of gasoline contains about the same energy as 1 kg of hydrogen. Although fuel cells are expected to be twice as efficient as gasoline vehicles, hydrogen is very diffuse and storing an ample supply on board represents an engineering challenge.

Energy Defined

Public-Private Sector Partnership (PPP)

A contractual agreement between a public agency (local, state, or federal) and a private-sector entity to deliver a service or product to the general public. For example, the FutureGen project is a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Energy and members of the coal industry to develop a near-zero emissions coal-fired power plant.

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National Academies Press

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