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Category: Technology: Energy

Vox: The fight to rethink (and reinvent) nuclear power

New nuclear energy technology has come a long way – but can we get over our fears? This is the fifth episode of Climate Lab, a six-part series produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox. Hosted by Emmy-nominated conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives …

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Why China has become the world leader in renewable energy

China is the now world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, using fossil fuels to drive rapid industrialization. But it has also become the world leader in renewable energy. The Economist investigates how the country is now investing billions of dollars in green technology. China’s investments into green tech can be clearly illustrated by the facts …

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TED: We need nuclear power to solve climate change | Joe Lassiter

Joe Lassiter is a deep thinker and straight talker focused on developing clean, secure and carbon-neutral supplies of reliable, low-cost energy. His analysis of the world’s energy realities puts a powerful lens on the stubbornly touchy issue of nuclear power, including new designs for plants that can compete economically with fossil fuels. We have the …

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The Economist: How does a floating wind turbine stand up?

It is not just utility companies racing to respond to the rise of renewable energy. Oil and gas giant Statoil is building on four decades of offshore experience to erect its first floating wind farm.  

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell: Fusion Energy Explained – Future or Failure

On Earth, fusion occurs on a larger scale only in hydrogen bombs, but a lot of money and research is being invested into harnessing fusion as a practical energy source just as we do with nuclear power today (nuclear fission). For fusion to occur, we must achieve extreme temperatures and pressures, this is what the …

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol

In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous.  

Harvard University: Mara Prentiss, “Energy Revolution”

We can launch an energy revolution that drastically decreases CO2 emission and other deleterious consequences associated with fossil fuel burning. Energy extraction can be cut by more than 50% by converting fossil fuel burning engines to electric motors and replacing fossil fuel burning power plants with renewable sources. In addition, energy efficient systems and improvements …

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Australian National University: ANU Scientists Set Solar Thermal Record

With an area of 500 square meters, The Australian National University’s solar collector is the world’s largest of its kind, writes the University. Now it also hold the world record in efficiency for solar collectors that concentrate the light.   Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have set a world record for efficiency for …

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Nils Ferber: Micro Wind Turbine

The ‘micro wind turbine’ is a compact, lightweight, portable charging device, designed by student Nils Ferber, at the école cantonale d’art de lausanne (ECAL) in switzerland. the device which weighs less than one kilogram, operates day and night, and can be folded down to the size of a trekking pole.  

Bloomberg: The Tech That Could Fix One of Wind Power’s Biggest Problems

Ashlee Vance paid a recent visit to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik to see the next part of the green energy story. He found a start-up called Icewind that is building a new type of funky wind turbine designed to perform well in low-wind conditions but also to slow itself down in high-winds, preventing it …

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Harvard University: Bionic Leaf Turns Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel

A cross-disciplinary team at Harvard University has created a system that uses solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuels. The system can convert solar energy to biomass with 10 percent efficiency, far above the one percent seen in the fastest-growing plants.

Statoil: Scotland is Building the World ‘s Largest Foating Wind Farm

The Guardian reports that Scotland will soon start to build the world ‘s largest floating wind farm 24 kilometers off the country’s east coast. It will be built by the Norwegian company Statoil. Sometime towards the end of next year the idea is to start the five wind turbines that will provide about 20,000 households …

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University of California: Martha Heil: Plexiglas makes nanowire batteries last longer

In the race to make more efficient batteries, scientists would like to pack together tiny nanowires that could be charged many times over. A team from University of California, Irvine, has coated these nanowires with plexiglas-like-gel, and found that they last much longer than other or uncoated nanowire batteries. Researcher Mya Le Thai explains.  

Real Engineering: Why Do Wind Turbines Have Three Blades?

Why do wind turbines have only three blades? Wouldn’t four be more effective? Turns out to be a question of diminishing returns. Four blades would be more effective, but the extra efficiency is very small. The extra cost of a fourth blade would not be worthwhile.  

TED-Ed: How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity

Solar panels are becoming cheaper and more efficient. So how exactly do they work?  

General Electric: Solar Molten Salts Technology

Thermal energy storage enables power generation on cloudy days, or long after sunset. With almost no reduction in operating efficiency and low capital costs per kilowatt-hour compared to other solar energy storage system solutions.  

Lund University: Solar cells help purify water in developing countries

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a water purification plant that provides clean water far beyond the reach of the electrical grid – thanks to solar cells. With the help of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, these small and portable solar cell stations have now been placed across rural Bangladesh.  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: One step closer to fusion power

For the first time, researchers show two types of turbulence within plasma that cause significant heat loss. Solving this problem could take the world a step closer to fusion power which has the promise of limitless and relatively clean energy.  

TED-Ed: How do solar panels work? – Richard Komp

The Earth intercepts a lot of solar power: 173,000 terawatts. That’s 10,000 times more power than the planet’s population uses. So is it possible that one day the world could be completely reliant on solar energy? Richard Komp examines how solar panels convert solar energy to electrical energy.  

Harvard University: Daniel Nocera: Energy for 1 X 6 Billion

The capture and storage of solar energy at the individual level – personalized solar energy – drives inextricably towards the heart of this energy challenge by addressing the triumvirate of secure, carbon neutral and plentiful energy. Because energy use scales with wealth, point-of-use solar energy will put individuals, in the smallest village in the non-legacy …

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