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Energy Sources 101: These Short Videos Explain the Basics

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If you’ve ever searched online for unbiased and fact-driven articles on energy, you’ve probably noticed that they can be quite rare. Almost every information source seems to be pushing an agenda.

Energy is a touchy subject, and billions of dollars are spent each year to campaign on issues surrounding fossil fuels, renewable energy funding, pipelines, environmental concerns, and fracking.

With so much at stake, special interest groups, governments, and corporations are constantly engaged to “win the war” on information by putting their own spin on facts. This creates a tangled web that is tough to navigate for any inquisitive person.

Energy Sources 101

Well, we have good news – recently, we came across a pretty nifty Youtube channel that is visual, intuitive, and fact-driven. It focuses on providing introductory information on different energy sources.

The Student Energy Movement aims to be a “universal entry point for learning about the energy system” by delivering accurate and unbiased energy information. Here’s some of the videos we thought were worthwhile, highlighting both the pros and cons of different energy sources:

Hydro

Explains how hydro power works, but also touches on pumped hydro (energy storage) and pros/cons.

Nuclear

The difference between fission and fusion, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of nuclear energy.

Oil

Explains how oil is formed, and also how it is processed and transported.

Natural Gas

Explains wet and dry gas, as well as how gas is extracted and processed.

Solar

Discusses both photovoltaic and solar thermal. For more information on how each of those types work, go here and here.

Also, here’s links to additional videos on energy sources such as geothermal, biofuels, coal, wind, and tidal.

Other Energy Topics

But that’s not all – the organization has also produced great videos on topics like fracking, in situ oil sands production, liquefied natural gas, and hydrogen.

Here are those videos in case you want to dive deeper into other energy topics:

Hydraulic Fracturing

Explains how “fracking” works.

In Situ Oil Sands Production

An alternative to mining in the oil sands, this video show how in situ production works.

Liquefied Natural Gas

This video shows how natural gas is liquefied, and transported to other markets.

Hydrogen

Examines the potential of hydrogen, along with the issues surrounding it. Also explains how fuel cells work.

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Energy

Visualized: The Growth of Clean Energy Stocks

Visual Capitalist partnered with EnergyX to analyze five major clean energy stocks and explore the factors driving this growth.

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The teaser image shows the growth of clean energy stocks and hints at their cumulative five-year returns.

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The following content is sponsored by EnergyX

The Growth of Clean Energy Stocks

Over the last few years, energy investment trends have shifted from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable energy sources. Long-term energy investors now see significant returns from clean energy stocks, especially compared to those invested in fossil fuels alone.

For this graphic, Visual Capitalist has collaborated with EnergyX to examine the rise of clean energy stocks and gain a deeper understanding of the factors driving this growth.

Sustainable Energy Stock Performance

In 2023, the IEA reported that 62% of all energy investment went toward sustainable sources. As the world embraces sustainable energy and technologies like EVs, it’s no surprise that clean energy companies provide solid returns for their investors over long periods. 

Taking the top-five clean energy stocks by market cap (as of April 2024) and charting their five-year cumulative returns, it is clear that investments in clean energy are growing:

CompanyPrice: 01/04/2019Price: 12/29/20245-Year-Return %
First Solar, Inc.$46.32$172.28272%
Enphase Energy, Inc.$5.08$132.142,501%
Consolidated Edison, Inc.$76.55$90.9719%
NextEra Energy, Inc.$43.13$60.7441%
Brookfield Renewable Partners$14.78$26.2878%
promotional graphic with a button and wheel that promotes the EnergyX investment site

But how does this compare to the performance of fossil fuel stocks? 

When comparing the performance of the S&P Global Oil Index and the S&P Clean Energy Index between 2019 and 2023, we see that the former returned 15%, whereas the latter returned an impressive 41%. This trend demonstrates the potential for clean energy stocks to yield significant returns on an industry level, sparking optimism and excitement for potential investors. 

A Shift In Returns

With global investment trends moving away from traditional, non-sustainable sources, the companies that could shape the energy transition provide investors with alternative opportunities and avenues for growth. 

One such company is EnergyX. The lithium technology company has patented a groundbreaking technology that can improve lithium extraction rates by an incredible 300%, and its stock price has grown tenfold since its first offering in 2021.

promotional graphic that promotes the EnergyX investment site

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