• Could California's gridlock generate electricity for the grid?

    California is testing whether its heavy traffic can produce not just emissions and air pollution, but electricity. The state’s Energy Commission says it will spend $2 million to examine the potential of using piezoelectric crystals embedded under asphalt as a way to send the energy created by moving cars to the grid.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Stronger turbine blades with molybdenum silicides

    Researchers at Kyoto University have found that molybdenum silicides can improve the efficiency of turbine blades in ultrahigh-temperature combustion systems.

    Gas turbines are the engines that generate electricity in power plants. The operating temperatures of their combustion systems can exceed 1600 °C. The nickel-based turbine blades used in these systems melt at temperatures 200 °C lower and thus require air-cooling to function. Turbine blades made out of materials with higher melting temperatures would require less fuel consumption and lead to lower CO2 emissions.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Inexpensive semiconducting organic polymers can harvest sunlight to split carbon dioxide into alcohol fuels

    Chemists at The University of Texas at Arlington have been the first to demonstrate that an organic semiconductor polymer called polyaniline is a promising photocathode material for the conversion of carbon dioxide into alcohol fuels without the need for a co-catalyst.

    "This opens up a new field of research into new applications for inexpensive, readily available organic semiconducting polymers within solar fuel cells," said principal researcher Krishnan Rajeshwar, UTA distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry and co-Director of UTA's Center for Renewable Energy, Science & Technology.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Why the Increase in Solar-Powered Schools?

    Out of the 125,000 K-12 schools in the United States, over 3,700 are running on solar power. Three-thousands of these schools installed their solar power systems within the past six years, as solar technology continues to become less expensive and more sophisticated.

    This trend in powering our schools reflects the growing recognition by district and state officials that photovoltaic electrical systems offer significant financial and environmental benefits. Here are four key reasons why more schools are making this transition.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • New generation of high-efficiency solar thermal absorbers developed

    Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter are one step closer to developing a new generation of low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. The structure is one of the world's first examples of a tri-layer metasurface absorber using a carbon interlayer.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Gas Stations Close as Fire Rages Near Alberta Oil Sands

    The wildfire that roared through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, last May has been called the worst fire in Canadian history. Its devastation is staggering: More than 100,000 residents and nearby workers were evacuated at different stages of the fire, and more than 2,200 square miles of land and 2,400 structures burned in two provinces: Alberta and its eastern neighbor, Saskatchewan. With the fire only 70 percent contained to date, its economic impact is yet to be tallied.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • US-India Pact on Renewables Will Help Keep Coal in the Ground

    President Barack Obama and Indian President Narendra Modi signed a pact last week, extending a commitment originally established in 2014, to join forces to combat climate change with a huge commitment to renewable energy.

    The pledge acknowledges commitments made in Paris last year at the COP21 climate talks and defines a path for both countries to achieve their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). In particular, the U.S. has pledged to support India, the world’s third largest carbon emitting country and second fastest growing economy, in its ambitious goal of deploying 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022. That would bring it up to a level of renewable capacity comparable to the U.S. today.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • New material has potential to cut costs and make nuclear fuel recycling cleaner

    Researchers are investigating a new material that might help in nuclear fuel recycling and waste reduction by capturing certain gases released during reprocessing. Conventional technologies to remove these radioactive gases operate at extremely low, energy-intensive temperatures. By working at ambient temperature, the new material has the potential to save energy, make reprocessing cleaner and less expensive. The reclaimed materials can also be reused commercially.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate change mitigation: Turning CO2 into rock

    An international team of scientists have found a potentially viable way to remove anthropogenic (caused or influenced by humans) carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere - turn it into rock.

    The study, published today in Science, has shown for the first time that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be permanently and rapidly locked away from the atmosphere, by injecting it into volcanic bedrock. The CO2 reacts with the surrounding rock, forming environmentally benign minerals.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Renewable Energy Hit Record Levels in 2015

    A new report confirms that 2015 was a record-breaking year for renewable energy in which 147 Gigawatts of renewable electricity came online.

    That figure represents the largest annual increase ever recorded, and is due in part to the $286 billion invested in renewables. In fact, in 2015 almost twice as much money was spent on renewable energy, like solar and wind power, than fossil fuels like gas-fired power stations — only $130 billion.

    This information comes as part of the Renewables Global Status Report authored by the global renewable energy policy network known as REN21. 

     

    >> Read the Full Article