• Small hydroelectric dams increase globally with little research, regulations

    Hydropower dams may conjure images of the massive Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state or the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, China — the world’s largest electricity-generating facility. But not all dams are the stuff of documentaries. Tens of thousands of smaller hydroelectric dams exist around the world, and all indications suggest that the number could substantially increase in the future.

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  • Fox Creek Quakes Linked to Volume and Location of Hydraulic Fracturing

    The volume of hydraulic fracturing fluid and the location of well pads control the occurrence and frequency of measurable earthquakes, new research from the Alberta Geological Survey and the University of Alberta shows.

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  • Turning heat into electricity

    What if you could run your air conditioner not on conventional electricity, but on the sun’s heat during a warm summer’s day? With advancements in thermoelectric technology, this sustainable solution might one day become a reality.

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  • Shale gas is one of the least sustainable ways to produce electricity

    Shale gas is one of least sustainable options for producing electricity, according to new research from The University of Manchester.

    The major study, which is the first of its kind, considered environmental, economic and social sustainability of shale gas in the UK and compared it to other electricity generating options. These were coal, nuclear, natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), solar photovoltaics (PV), wind, hydro and biomass.

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  • Surprising Discovery Could Lead to Better Batteries

    A collaboration led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has observed an unexpected phenomenon in lithium-ion batteries—the most common type of battery used to power cell phones and electric cars. As a model battery generated electric current, the scientists witnessed the concentration of lithium inside individual nanoparticles reverse at a certain point, instead of constantly increasing. This discovery, which was published on January 12 in the journal Science Advances, is a major step toward improving the battery life of consumer electronics.

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  • After an Uncertain Start, U.S. Offshore Wind Is Powering Up

    This summer, the Norwegian energy company, Statoil, will send a vessel to survey a triangular slice of federal waters about 15 miles south of Long Island, where the company is planning to construct a wind farm that could generate up to 1.5 gigawatts of electricity for New York City and Long Island — enough to power roughly 1 million homes. Construction on the “Empire Wind” project, with scores of wind turbines generating electricity across 79,000 acres of leased federal waters, is scheduled to begin in 2023, with construction completed in 2025.

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  • Sun, Wind, and Power Trading

    Our power grid works at a frequency of 50 hertz – usually generated by turbines, for example in hydro- or coal power plants, which rotate at a speed of 50 revolutions per second. "When a consumer uses more electrical energy from the power grid, the grid frequency drops slightly before an increased energy feed-in re-establishes the original frequency," explains Benjamin Schäfer from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) in Göttingen and lead author of the study. "Deviations from the nominal value of 50 hertz must be kept to a minimum, as otherwise sensitive electrical devices could be damaged."

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  • NUS Researchers Pioneer Water-Based, Eco-Friendly and Energy-Saving Air-Conditioner

    A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius without the use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants. This game-changing technology could potentially replace the century-old air-cooling principle that is still being used in our modern-day air-conditioners. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the novel system is portable and it can also be customised for all types of weather conditions.

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  • Shakedown in Oklahoma: To Cut the Number of Bigger Earthquakes, Inject Less Saltwater

    In Oklahoma, reducing the amount of saltwater (highly brackish water produced during oil and gas recovery) pumped into the ground seems to be decreasing the number of small fluid-triggered earthquakes.

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  • We Need One Global Net­work of 1000 Sta­tions to Build an Earth Ob­ser­vat­ory

    We also need to share our data. So says world’s most prominent geoscientist, professor Markku Kulmala.

    Environmental challenges, climate change, water and food security and urban air pollution, they are all interlinked, yet each is studied as such, separately. This is not a sustainable situation, for anybody anymore. To tackle this, professor Markku Kulmala calls for a continuous, comprehensive monitoring of interactions between the planet’s surface and atmosphere in his article “Build a global Earth observatory” published in Nature, January 4, 2018.

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