Energy & Green Tech News

Building code debate heats up as Australia swelters

In the wake of Australia sweltering through its hottest two months on record – December and January –University of South Australia academics are calling for urgent changes to the country’s building codes.

Qatar, Exxon Mobil to build $10 bn LNG plant in Texas

Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil announced Tuesday a final decision to build a natural gas export facility in Texas, giving the official green light to a long-discussed project.

A new approach for fast estimation of the solar energy potential in urban environments

TU Delft researchers have developed a new approach for quickly and accurately calculating the solar energy potential of surfaces in the urban environment. Via the new approach, architects and urban planners can more easily …

UC design could revolutionize power plants

University of Cincinnati researchers say they have found a solution to one of the biggest environmental problems facing the energy industry: water consumption.

Tesla to buy battery tech firm Maxwell

Tesla agreed Monday to buy energy tech firm Maxwell Technologies for $218 million, a move that could help the electric carmaker extend the driving range for its vehicles.

Engineers harvest heart’s energy to power life-saving devices

The heart’s motion is so powerful that it can recharge devices that save our lives, according to new research from Dartmouth College.

Investigating glare: How bright is your office?

If you work in an office building in Australia, particularly one rated ‘green’ for its energy efficiency, QUT researchers want your help.

‘Inkjet’ solar panels poised to revolutionise green energy

What if one day all buildings could be equipped with windows and facades that satisfy the structure’s every energy need, whether rain or shine?

New tool compares costs and benefits of alternative fuels and vehicle technologies

Many fleet managers are looking at alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies to reduce their environmental footprint and save money. The AFLEET Tool, and its newly launched web-based version, AFLEET Online, …

Estimation of technology level required for low-cost renewable hydrogen production

NIMS, the University of Tokyo and Hiroshima University have jointly evaluated the economic efficiency of hydrogen production systems combining photovoltaic power generation and rechargeable batteries. They also estimated …

Directly cooled electric motor made from polymer materials

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology …

Keeping the lights on during extreme cold snaps takes investments and upgrades

Polar vortexes. Hurricanes. Wildfires.

IAEA urges Japan to take ample time in Fukushima cleanup

The International Atomic Energy Agency urged Japan on Thursday to spend ample time in developing a decommissioning plan for the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant and to be honest with the public about remaining …

Germany sees surge in new solar power as prices drop

Germany added almost 3 gigawatts of new solar power generation in 2018, about 68 percent more than the previous year amid a drop in prices for new systems.

Hybrid electricity system would reduce rates, improve service

A new distribution system designed by researchers at the University of Waterloo would reduce electricity prices by more than five per cent while also improving service reliability.

Scientists find way to help fuel cells work better, stay clean in the cold

In a study to publish in Nature on January 31, researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) report advances in the development of hydrogen fuel cells that could increase its application in vehicles, …

Storage of nuclear waste a ‘global crisis’: report

Nuclear waste is piling up around the world even as countries struggle to dispose of spent fuel that will remain highly toxic for many thousands of years, Greenpeace detailed in a report Wednesday.

Finding the energy for going viral

The question of how much energy a virus needs to replicate in its host translates into how likely a single infection is to become an epidemic. Writing in the International Journal of Exergy, Sevgi Eylül Ferahcan, Ayşe Selcen …

Hydrogen trains are coming – can they get rid of diesel for good?

When the UK government cancelled its plans to electrify train lines across Wales, the Midlands and the north of England, and cut back on the Great Western rail network electrification, it brought a premature end to a rail …

Optimizing solar farms with smart drones

As the solar industry has grown, so have some of its inefficiencies. Smart entrepreneurs see those inefficiencies as business opportunities and try to create solutions around them. Such is the nature of a maturing industry.

Radiation leaks at Japan plutonium lab, no workers exposed

A Japanese state-run nuclear fuel laboratory near Tokyo has detected a radiation leak in its plutonium handling facility, but no workers were exposed.

Research into lithium-oxygen batteries could boost performance of electronics, cars

Sick of having to plug in your phone every night? Help might be on the way.

Proton transport ‘highway’ may pave way to better high-power batteries

Researchers at Oregon State University have found that a chemical mechanism first described more than two centuries ago holds the potential to revolutionize energy storage for high-power applications like vehicles or electrical …

Putting free energy to good use with minuscule energy harvesters

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed a micro-electromechanical energy harvester that allows for more flexibility in design, which is crucial for future IoT applications.

How growing cities can support at-home electric vehicle charging

Rapid urban population growth is driving many cities around the world to reduce their carbon footprints. In Canada, two major policy agendas are designed to achieve this: boosting urban density and promoting low-carbon transportation …

Here’s how a 100% renewable energy future can create jobs and even save the gas industry

The world can limit global warming to 1.5 ℃ and move to 100% renewable energy while still preserving a role for the gas industry, and without relying on technological fixes such as carbon capture and storage, according …

Flexible bipolar plates made of polymers make it possible to build compact batteries

Whether used for power supply or in electric cars, current battery systems are based on a series of interconnected individual cells, which has certain disadvantages in terms of efficiency and manufacturing. Bipolar battery …

Now that UK nuclear power plans are in tatters, it’s vital to double down on wind and solar

Now that Japanese giants Toshiba and Hitachi have walked away from UK nuclear power projects that had previously been abandoned by others, it has forced the government to reassess the pro-nuclear bias of its energy policy. …

Scientists boost stability of low-cost, large-area solar modules

Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have resolved a fundamental weakness in a promising solar technology known as Perovskite Solar Cells, or PSCs. Their innovations appear …

Toward more energy-efficient cruise ships

An EPFL researcher has developed a system based on fuel cells to reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of cruise ships, which are increasingly popular among vacation goers around the world.

Erosion in wind turbine blades solved with the help of artificial intelligence

The erosion of materials used in wind turbine blades due to the effect of weather conditions is a problem that applies to the whole wind energy sector. VTT’s antiAGE project found a functional solution to the material problem …

North Sea rocks could act as large-scale renewable energy stores

Rocks in the seabed off the UK coast could provide long-term storage locations for renewable energy production, new research suggests.

Scientists turn carbon emissions into usable energy

A recent study affiliated with UNIST has developed a system that produces electricity and hydrogen (H2) while eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2), the main contributor of global warming. This breakthrough has been led by Professor …

Applying physics to energy-efficient building design

Developing a perfectly energy-efficient building is relatively easy to do—if you don’t give the building’s occupants any control over their environment. Since nobody wants that kind of building, Professor Christoph Reinhart …

Google to buy power from solar farms in Tennessee, Alabama

Google plans to buy power from Tennessee and Alabama solar farms under a deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Offices are too hot or too cold – is there a better way to control room temperature?

In any office, home or other shared space, there’s almost always someone who’s too cold, someone who’s too hot – and someone who doesn’t know what the fuss around the thermostat is all about.

Bioconstruction: Beyond hempcrete

One of the common beliefs about bio-construction is that it is only for rich people. According to Mike Lawrence, Professor at the BRE CICM (Centre for Innovative Construction Materials), University of Bath, UK, this is a …

Technique identifies electricity-producing bacteria

Living in extreme conditions requires creative adaptations. For certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments, this means finding a way to breathe that doesn’t involve oxygen. These hardy microbes, …

Rise of renewables creating ‘new world’: report

The rapid growth of renewable energy sources and the demise of fossil fuels are causing major changes in global politics, a special commission said in a report Friday.

A new way to measure solar panel degradation

Despite many benefits and relative popularity as a renewable energy source, eventually, the sun does set on even the best solar panels. Over time, solar cells face damage from weather, temperature changes, soiling, and UV …

New materials could help improve the performance of perovskite solar cells

New research could lead to the design of new materials to help improve the performance of perovskite solar cells (PSCs).

Hydrogen mobility from renewable energy

A reliable energy transition requires the implication of a range of scientific domains: physical, human, social, economic, as well as earth and life sciences, with the particular concern to put the end user in the centre …

Technology helps reduce energy costs on Indiana farm while protecting environment

A Purdue University alumnus is using clean, solar energy to drastically reduce the electric bill for his northern Indiana hog farm with the help of a company based in the Purdue Research Park.

Six new species of hideously adorable tentacle-nosed catfish discovered in Amazon

No one knows just how many species live in the Amazon rainforest—scientists estimate that it’s home to one-third of the world’s animal and plant species. There are still thousands out there waiting to be discovered—like …

Programmable transparent organic luminescent tags–writing with light

Luminescent emission in the form of phosphorescence commonly occurs in daily life as a result of a quantum mechanically small transition probability. A luminescent emission lifetime can last from microseconds to several hours. …

Bees have brains for basic math, study finds

Researchers have found bees can do basic mathematics, in a discovery that expands our understanding of the relationship between brain size and brain power.

Decentralized systems are more efficient at reaching a target when its components are not overly capable

A team of researchers including Neil Johnson, a professor of physics at the George Washington University, has discovered that decentralized systems work better when the individual parts are less capable.

Controllable electron flow in quantum wires

Princeton researchers have demonstrated a new way of making controllable “quantum wires” in the presence of a magnetic field, according to a new study published in Nature.

Species ‘hotspots’ created by immigrant influx or evolutionary speed depending on climate

Some corners of the world teem with an extraordinary variety of life. Charles Darwin noted that: “The same spot will support more life if occupied by very diverse forms.”

New physical effect demonstrated after 40 year search

A new physical effect has been demonstrated at the University of Bath after 40 years of pursuit by physicists around the world, which could lead to advancements in chemical manufacturing efficiency, miniaturisation and quality …

Mega docking library poised to speed drug discovery

Researchers have launched an ultra-large virtual docking library expected to grow to more than 1 billion molecules by next year. It will expand by 1000-fold the number of such “make-on-demand” compounds readily available …

Study confirms beaked whales’ incredible diving abilities

A new Duke University-led study provides the first detailed record of the diving behavior of Cuvier’s beaked whales in U.S. Atlantic waters.

Bubbles of brand new stars

This region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) glows in striking colours in this image captured by the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). The region, known as LHA 120-N …

Untangling a strange phenomenon that both helps and hurts lithium-ion battery performance

The lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and phones charge and discharge by ferrying lithium ions back and forth between two electrodes, an anode and a cathode. The more lithium ions the electrodes are able …

Black soldier fly larvae found to maximize eating by forming a fountain

A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has found that black soldier fly larvae maximize their eating efficiency by pushing non-eaters out of the way, causing the emergence of a fountain shape made up …

NASA, SpaceX aim for March test of first new astronaut capsule

NASA and SpaceX are now aiming for a March debut of the first capsule from a private company designed to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

How bees stay cool on hot summer days

If you’ve ever walked past a bees nest on a hot summer day, you’ve probably been too focused on avoiding getting stung, rather than stopping to wonder how all those bees stay cool. Don’t worry, Harvard scientists have braved …

When a generation loves a previous musical era: Millennials’ recognition of 1960s-1990s songs is notable

Millennials’ recognition of songs from the 1960s through the 1990s is relatively stable over this 40-year period, a team of researchers has found. By contrast, their recognition of musical hits from 2000 to 2015, while higher …

Melting ice sheets may cause ‘climate chaos’ according to new modelling

The weather these days is wild and will be wilder still within a century. In part, because the water from melting ice sheets off Greenland and in the Antarctic will cause extreme weather and unpredictable temperatures around …

How does the Amazon rain forest cope with drought?

The Amazon rain forest isn’t necessarily a place that many would associate with a drought, yet prolonged dry spells are projected to become more prevalent and severe because of climate change. The question at hand is how …

Study shows that Vikings enjoyed a warmer Greenland

A new study may resolve an old debate about how tough the Vikings actually were.

New oviraptorosaur species discovered in Mongolia

A new oviraptorosaur species from the Late Cretaceous was discovered in Mongolia, according to a study published in February 6, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Yuong-Nam Lee from Seoul National University, South …

Unfamiliar words, not blue text, slows reading of hyperlinks

Hyperlinks slow down reading speed only when the linked word is unfamiliar, an effect that is independent of link color, according to new research published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Gemma Fitzsimmons, Mark Weal, …

Researchers investigate a billion years of coexistence between plants and fungi

What can a billion years of coexistence tell us about the evolution of plants and fungi?

What can worms tell us about human aging?

What can worms tell us about human ageing? A lot more than you’d think; as research led by the Babraham Institute but involving researchers from multiple disciplines drawn together from across the world has shown. In a cluster …

Cleaning up the clutter: How proto-biology arose from the prebiotic clutter

Just like the mythical creation stories that depict the formation of the world as the story of order from chaos, the early Earth was home to a chaotic clutter of organic molecules from which, somehow, more complex biological …

Solving a mystery: A new model for understanding how certain nuclei split

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have extended an existing mathematical model so that it can be used to more accurately predict the products of fission reactions.

New anti-CRISPR proteins discovered in soil and human gut

Scientists from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU) have found four new anti-CRISPR proteins that are distributed across different environments. The new study published in Cell Host & Microbe suggests …

Dying bacteria absorb antibiotic, allowing others to survive and grow

Bacteria have multiple strategies to survive antibiotics: developing genetic resistance to the drugs; delaying their growth; or hiding in protective biofilms. New results from researchers at Princeton and California State …

Molecular Velcro helps illuminate DNA repair

Using a piece of molecular “Velcro” to attach a light-emitting probe to a protein molecule, University of Wollongong (UOW) researchers have unlocked the mystery of how an important protein goes about repairing damaged DNA …

Female manakins use male mating call when implanted with male hormones

Among the first things that stand out about golden-collared manakins, a bird found in Panama and western Colombia, are the acrobatics of male adults during breeding season. Males also emit a particular call, the ‘chee-poo’, …

Novel enzyme discovered in intestinal bacteria

The human intestinal system contains a complex community of microorganisms, the intestinal microbiome, which metabolizes food components that have not readily been digested. However, there are also microbial degradation processes …

20-million-year-old kangaroo relative found to be a hopper

A team of researchers with the Swedish Natural History Museum and Uppsala University has found evidence of hopping by a 20-million-year-old kangaroo relative. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, …

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