An option to store the electricity won from sun and wind is to use it for the production of chemical energy carriers. Still, the power-to-gas process is far from being economically efficient at the moment. The HELMETH EU project is aimed at demonstrating that efficiencies of more than 85 percent can be achieved by better using the synergies of existing process steps.
As the global importance for a low-carbon economy grows urgent, Cornell has posted its most aggressive carbon-reduction strategy to date: the Cornell Climate Action Plan Update and Roadmap 2014-15. The plan focuses on climate neutrality, academic innovation and leadership, clarifies next steps for a dozen future key maneuvers, and highlights five dozen additional carbon reduction actions.
Scientists have discovered a surprising material that is the best in the world at converting waste heat to useful electricity. This outstanding property could be exploited in solid-state thermoelectric devices in a variety of industries, with potentially enormous energy savings.
On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you'd be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester (not at all) and cork (very). In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out how to extract a natural, waterproof, antibacterial version of the first material from the latter.
Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of MatHero. The new project aims at making organic photovoltaics competitive to their inorganic counterparts by enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells, reducing their production costs and increasing their life-time.
Researchers have conducted a study into genetically modified tobacco plants from which it is possible to produce between 20 and 40 per cent more ethanol; this would increase their viability as a raw material for producing biofuels.
Researchers have found that carbon dioxide, in its ionic form bicarbonate, has a regulating function in the splitting of water in photosynthesis. This means that carbon dioxide has an additional role to being reduced to sugar.
Energy efficiency programs aimed at reducing energy waste cost utilities only about three cents per kilowatt hour, while generating the same amount of electricity from sources such as fossil fuels can cost two to three times more.