Two new reports from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examine the economic options customers face when deciding how to finance commercial or residential solar energy systems. NREL analysts found that businesses that use low-cost financing to purchase a photovoltaic (PV) system and homeowners who use solar-specific loans can save up to 30 percent compared with consumers who lease a PV system through a conventional third-party owner.
A new version of an online tool created by Argonne National Laboratory will help biofuels developers gain a detailed understanding of water consumption of various types of feedstocks, aiding development of sustainable fuels that will reduce impact on limited water resources.
The transformation of the energy system in Germany is a long-term challenge facing society. A number of political and economic aspects have to be considered. The new research program SCI of the Helmholtz Association aims at developing the technologies required for this purpose. The budget for the project period of five years totals about EUR 310 million.
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is launching two National Research Programmes to explore scientific and technological as well as social and economic aspects of implementing Energy Strategy 2050.
A team of chemical engineering researchers has developed a technique that uses a new catalyst to convert methane and water into hydrogen and a fuel feedstock called syngas with the assistance of solar power. The catalytic material is more than three times more efficient at converting water into hydrogen gas than previous thermal water-splitting methods.
In order to make plastic more impervious, engineers apply wafer-thin layers on surfaces. This would not only increase the shelf life of food in plastic packaging, but would also prevent the migration of substances from the plastic into the food.