Whether it's swapping your car for an electric vehicle, or your natural gas furnace for geothermal heating, transitioning from fossil fuels to electric-powered technology is widely believed to be the best way to lower carbon emissions. But knowing where the electricity comes from to power those 'eco-alternatives' is critical. If that electricity comes from burning oil and coal, it might mean that green alternatives aren't that green after all.
Drivers have been slow to adopt electric vehicles due to 'range anxiety', the fear of becoming stranded with an empty battery. This phenomenon was recently addressed in a study that aims to explain range anxiety and determine whether hands-on experience can reduce drivers' stress.
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have launched the Clean Energy Incubator Network. The program, funded by the Energy Department, aims to improve the performance of clean energy business incubators, connect critical industry and energy sector partners, and advance clean energy technologies emerging from universities and federal laboratories.
The chemical signature of water vapor emitted by combustion sources such as vehicles and furnaces has been found in the smoggy winter inversions that often choke Salt Lake City. The discovery may give researchers a new tool to track down the sources of pollutants and climate-changing carbon dioxide gas.
Researchers have taken a step closer to producing solar fuel using artificial photosynthesis. In a new study, they have successfully tracked the electrons' rapid transit through a light-converting molecule.
To make ships more eco-efficient, engineers have been working with alternative fuels. A Norwegian engineer is currently pursuing a new approach: With Vindskip, he has designed a cargo ship that is powered by wind and gas.
Sewage sludge, green waste, production residue from the food industry, straw or animal excrement - with the biobattery's modular concept a much larger range of biomass can be utilized for energy recovery than previously. Researchers show that they can convert organic residues into electricity, heat, purified gas, engine oil and high quality biochar using this process.
Using models that blend global economics, geography, ecology and environmental sciences is essential to understanding how changes in trade and natural systems in one part of the world affect those in another, a review concludes.
Sizing techniques play an essential role in the design of renewable energies for hybrid energy systems, and now, a team of researchers is using a 'fuzzy logic' algorithm to determine optimal sizing for hybrid photovoltaic panel/battery systems.
Wastewater contains an elevated amount of chemical energy in the form of organic contaminants. In order to make use of this energy, researchers from around the world study ways to recover it in the form of hydrogen, a process which efficiently eliminates organic matter from wastewater.
Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have developed a novel reference electrode, and are working with hydrogen energy system manufacturer ITM Power to aid the development of hydrogen production technologies for renewable energy storage.