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Researchers Aim for 'Perfect' Solar Absorber

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right. It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun— but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that would increase the energy that is reradiated by the material, and thus lost to the conversion process.

Research Yields Recyclable Battery

September 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Uppsala Univ. | News | Comments

Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental...

Researchers Make Hydrogen Fuel Sans Rare Metals

September 29, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral called perovskite and low cost electrodes...

Natural Gas Use Will Do Little to Reduce Emissions

September 26, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Irvine | News | Comments

Abundant supplies of natural gas will do little to reduce harmful U.S. emissions causing climate...

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GE Invests $10 M in Natural Gas Research

September 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Kevin Begos | News | Comments

Penn State Univ. says that General Electric Co. will give the school up to $10 million to create a new center for natural gas industry research.

Biofuel Research Leads to Human Gut

September 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

Scientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine.

UC Signs Major Solar Deal

September 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Univ. of California says it has made one of the largest ever solar energy purchases by a university system in the U.S. The UC system says the deal will provide enough solar power to offset 60 percent of the electricity use at five of the state's 10 campuses, as well as some university medical centers.


Wind May Power Los Angeles

September 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Four companies are proposing an $8 billion project to supply the Los Angeles area with large amounts of electricity from a wind farm in Wyoming via an energy storage facility in Utah.

Researchers Create Nano-sized Hydrogen Generator

September 22, 2014 7:00 am | by Argonne National Laboratory | News | Comments

Researchers have created a small-scale hydrogen generator that uses light and a two-dimensional graphene platform to boost production of the hard-to-make element. The research also unveiled a previously unknown property of graphene. The two-dimensional chain of carbon atoms not only gives and receives electrons, but can also transfer them into another substance.

California Teachers Invest in Clean Energy

September 19, 2014 2:09 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it plans to increase its investments in clean energy and technology to $3.7 billion, from $1.4 billion, over the next five years.

Chevron Meets Voluntary Shale Drilling Rules

September 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Kevin Begos | News | Comments

Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale announced today.

Studies See Significant Drop in Rooftop, Utility-scale Solar Prices

September 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

The price of solar energy in the U.S. continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports. A third report shows that local permitting and other regulatory procedures can significantly impact residential photovoltaic prices.


Researchers Take Step Toward Lithium-sulfur Batteries

September 18, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

A fevered search for the next great high-energy, rechargeable battery technology is on. Scientists are reporting they have overcome key obstacles toward making lithium-sulfur batteries, which have the potential to leave today’s lithium-ion technology in the dust.

Study: Bad Wells, Not Fracking, Contaminate Groundwater

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Ohio State Univ. | News | Comments

A study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing, and it’s not the source many people may have feared. What’s more, the problem may be fixable with improved construction standards for cement well linings and casings at hydraulic fracturing sites.

Study Finds Why Batteries Go Bad

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought– and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated.

Breakthrough May Herald Cheap Green Energy

September 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Glasgow | News | Comments

Chemists have reported a new form of hydrogen production that is 30 times faster than the current state-of-the-art method. This is a major step forward in the production of hydrogen from water, which could lead to a new era of cheap, clean and renewable energy.

Nuclear Plant Stays Open Despite Safety Recommendations

September 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Michael Blood | News | Comments

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected a senior federal expert's recommendation to shut down California's last operating nuclear power plant until the agency can determine whether its twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults. In a decision, the agency concluded there is no immediate or significant safety concern at the Diablo Canyon plant.


More Health Problems Reported Near Fracking Wells

September 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Yale Univ. | News | Comments

Little is known about the environmental and public health impact of certain natural gas extraction techniques— including hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking— that occur near residential areas. Now, a study has found a greater prevalence of health symptoms reported among residents living close to natural gas wells, including those drilled by fracking.

Sun Could Make Clean Water for Villages in India

September 9, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water. Now, an analysis shows that a different desalination technology called electrodialysis, powered by solar panels, could provide enough clean, palatable drinking water to supply the needs of a typical village.

Tests Confirm Jet Biofuel Burns Cleaner

September 5, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Flying high above the California desert, researchers recently took to the skies for the second year in a row with a DC-8 and other aircraft to study the effects on emissions and contrail formation of burning alternative fuels in jet engines. This follow-up set of flight tests repeated a similar series of trials flown during 2013, while also adding a few new wrinkles to the investigations to capture more and better data.

Plant Gets Tesla Closer to Electric Car for Masses

September 4, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Justin Pritchard, Scott Sonner | News | Comments

To bring electric cars to the masses, Tesla Motors will use an expanse of desert where wild mustangs still roam for a factory that the company projects will crank out enough batteries to power 500,000 vehicles annually by decade's end.

New Fossil Fuel Alternative Made from Bacteria

September 3, 2014 7:00 am | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

Researchers have engineered the harmless gut bacteria E. coli to generate renewable propane. The development is a step toward commercial production of a source of fuel that could one day provide an alternative to fossil fuels.

Expert: Shut Down Cali’s Last Nuclear Plant

August 29, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Michael Blood | News | Comments

A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California's last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility's twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults.

Old Tires Get a Second Chance in Batteries

August 28, 2014 2:00 pm | by Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

Recycled tires could see new life in lithium-ion batteries that provide power to plug-in electric vehicles and store energy produced by wind and solar. By modifying the microstructural characteristics of carbon black, a substance recovered from discarded tires, a team is developing a better anode for lithium-ion batteries.

Existing Plants Will Spew More than 300 B Tons of CO2

August 26, 2014 2:00 pm | by UC Irvine | News | Comments

Existing power plants around the world will pump out more than 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide over their expected lifetimes, significantly adding to atmospheric levels of the climate-warming gas.

China's Energy Plan Holds Climate Risks

August 22, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Jack Chang | News | Comments

China wants to build 60 coal-to-gas plants as part of a controversial energy plan. The country hopes the plants will churn out desperately needed natural gas and electricity while cleaning up the toxic skies above. However, the plants will also release vast amounts of heat-trapping CO2, even as the world struggles to curb greenhouse gas emissions and stave off global warming.

Water Splitter Runs on AAA Battery

August 22, 2014 7:00 am | by Stanford Univ. | Videos | Comments

Scientists have developed a low-cost, emissions-free device that uses an ordinary AAA battery to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. The battery sends an electric current through two electrodes that split liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.

Meeting of Rivers, Seas May Be Source of Power

August 20, 2014 2:00 pm | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers. The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation, called pressure retarded osmosis, in which two waters of different salinity are mixed to produce energy.

Device Captures Solar Energy, Doesn’t Block View

August 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Michigan State Univ. | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a new type of solar concentrator that, when placed over a window, creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window.

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