Global power generation will experience five dominant trends over the next 25 years, putting unprecedented pressure on energy companies, utilities and policy-makers, according to the New Energy Outlook 2015, published today.
Researchers have developed a new technique for 'scheduling' energy in electric grids that moves away from centralized management by tapping into the distributed computing power of energy devices. The approach advances the smart grid concept by coordinating the energy being produced and stored by both conventional and renewable sources.
Research in solar-derived liquid fuels, or solar fuels, aims to make a range of products that are compatible with our energy infrastructure today, such as gasoline, jet fuel and hydrogen. The goal is to store sunlight in liquid form, conveniently overcoming the transient nature of sunlight.
An advanced manufacturing approach for lithium-ion batteries promises to significantly slash the cost of the most widely used type of rechargeable batteries while also improving their performance and making them easier to recycle.
Researchers have devised a new formula for calculating the maximum efficiency of thermoelectric materials, the first new formula in more than a half-century, designed to speed up the development of new materials suitable for practical use.
Last week, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) released a report demonstrating that increases in clean energy investments create more job opportunities.
Researchers have now pioneered a process that could enable the efficient recycling of two rare-earth metals, neodymium and dysprosium. These elements comprise the small, powerful magnets that are found in many high-tech devices. In contrast to the massive and energy-intensive industrial process currently used to separate rare earths, the method works nearly instantaneously at room temperature and uses standard laboratory equipment.
Switchgrass is an excellent candidate for biofuel production. However, growing and processing switchgrass is barely profitable. It lacks qualities, such as high biomass yield, needed to maximize biofuel production. To breed switchgrass that has the optimal combination of traits, the researchers tried evaluating plants using the Smith-Hazel Selection Index.
Researchers and industry are cooperating within the SOLAM (solar melting of aluminium in a directly radiated rotary kiln) project to develop a method by which aluminium foundries could use solar energy to melt this metal. The method would allow the companies to reduce their electricity consumption to a great extent and substantially lower their carbon dioxide emissions.
In a study that could improve the safety of next-generation batteries, researchers discovered that adding two chemicals to the electrolyte of a lithium metal battery prevents the formation of dendrites-'fingers' of lithium that pierce the barrier between the battery's halves, causing it to short out, overheat and sometimes burst into flame.
Researchers have discovered the structure and transport properties of the 'intermediate state' in lithium-ion batteries - key to understanding the mechanisms of charge and discharge in rechargeable batteries. These findings may help accelerate battery reaction speed and significantly shorten battery charging time.
The SAMT project of the European Union will work together with leading industrial actors from the cement, oil, metal, water, waste and chemical industries and review the latest scientific developments within the field of sustainability assessment.