Great Energy Challenge

Tiny Batteries Could Revolutionize Green Energy

Nanotechnology could dramatically improve energy storage for electronics, cars, and buildings.
Article
Tiny is big in the quest to build batteries that store more energy for cars, buildings, and personal electronics.
 
Nanosize batteries that are 80,000 times thinner than a human hair represent a promising new front. They could advance the use of electric vehicles, now limited by short driving ranges, and of renewable energy, which needs storage for times when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine.
 

Achieving the Right “Calorie Balance” in Cities: Health, Community, and Energy

Posted by Hidetomo Nagata
Article
Japan is now facing three major issues: the aging population, the decline of region’s economy, and the energy stability after the Tohoku earthquake. I worked on tackling these issues as part of a “smart city” project in Kashiwanoha, 15 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. (See related comments made by Mr.

How Green Are Those Solar Panels, Really?

As the industry grows, so does concern over the environmental impact.
Article
As the world seeks cleaner power, solar energy capacity has increased sixfold in the past five years. Yet manufacturing all those solar panels, a Tuesday report shows, can have environmental downsides.
 
Fabricating the panels requires caustic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and hydrofluoric acid, and the process uses water as well as electricity, the production of which emits greenhouse gases. It also creates waste. These problems could undercut solar's ability to fight climate change and reduce environmental toxics.
 

Chief Councillor Ellis Ross of the Haisla Nation on First Nations and Energy Development in Canada

Posted by David Braun of National Geographic
Blog
 
Located in the North Coast region of the Canadian province of British Columbia, the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation has found itself at the center of Canada’s energy and international commerce debate.
 

Can Egypt's Crisis Help Clean Energy Gain Traction?

Egypt looks to wind and solar as the answer to some of its longtime woes.
Article
CAIRO—On a hot, hazy Thursday in early September, life in the Egyptian capital ground to a jarring halt.
 
Two of the three metro lines came to a standstill, several popular cable networks were knocked off the air, and the nightly Sound and Light show for tourists at the Giza Pyramids went dark. Most residents were left to stew for hours with intermittent air-conditioning.
 

Summit Tackles India’s Sustainable Energy Goals

Posted by Christina Nunez
Blog
As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday, clean energy was on the agenda. A joint editorial from the leaders promised they would discuss ways to “expand affordable renewable energy” in India during the prime minister’s visit, his first official trip to the States.
 

New Standard Aims to Certify “Responsible” Oil Sites

Posted by Molly Beauchemin
Blog
In the Orinoquia region of Colombia, two oil fields run by Toronto-based Pacific Rubiales Energy last week became the first to be certified as “socially and environmentally responsible,” according to a new standard. The two sites produce approximately 250,000 barrels per day, or 25 percent of Colombia’s total output.
 

New Fridge Standards Take Effect Monday: How Refrigerators Have Kept Cool Over 40 Years of Improvements

Posted by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Blog
One of the great inventions of our time – the modern refrigerator – will get an efficiency makeover when new national efficiency standards go into effect on September 15, reducing energy use of most refrigerators and freezers by about 20 to 25 percent.
 

Hurricane Sandy Is Ushering in a Smarter Power System

Posted by Daniel Kammen of University of California, Berkeley
Blog
It’s ironic that a storm whose widespread blackouts left millions of Americans in the dark is finally helping us see the light.
 
Hurricane Sandy brought devastation and loss to the Eastern seaboard. The storm exposed the severe vulnerability of our electricity infrastructure and made global headlines as a harbinger of nature’s impacts in a climate changed world.
 

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