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With developing world's policy support, global renewable energy generation capacity jumps to record
The latest annual report from REN21 documents the impact of government policies worldwide on the uptake of renewable energy technologies. An 8.3 percent growth in energy generating capacity from renewable sources last year was helped to a large degree by the developing world, with supportive policies in place across 95 developing countries, up 6-fold from 15 countries in 2005, with renewable energy considered crucial for meeting current and future needs in a rising number of nations. (2014-06-03)

Breakthrough in energy storage: Electrical cables that can store energy
Nanotechnology scientist and professor Jayan Thomas and his Ph.D. student Zenan Yu have developed a way to both transmit and store electricity in a single lightweight copper wire. (2014-06-02)

Stanford, MIT scientists find new way to harness waste heat
Researchers have developed a new battery technology that captures waste heat and converts it into electricity. (2014-05-22)

New, fossil-fuel-free process makes biodiesel sustainable
A new fuel-cell concept, developed by an Michigan State University researcher, will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process. (2014-05-21)

A new way to harness waste heat
Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants; researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted energy. Now researchers at MIT and Stanford University have found a new alternative for low-temperature waste-heat conversion into electricity. (2014-05-21)

Solar energy prospects are bright for Scotland, experts say
Installing state-of-the-art solar panels on a quarter of a million roofs could meet one-sixth of Scotland's electricity demands, experts say. (2014-05-19)

Living conditions in Iraq must improve if investment in health system is to yield results
Despite enormous investment in Iraq's health system in the 10 years since the US-led invasion, the health condition of Iraqis has deteriorated and will fail to improve unless more is done to improve living conditions. (2014-05-15)

By itself, abundant shale gas unlikely to alter climate projections
A Duke policy analysis appearing in Environmental Science and Technology finds that if natural gas is abundant and less expensive, it will encourage greater consumption of gas and less of coal, renewables and nuclear power. The net effect on the climate will depend on whether the greenhouse gas emissions from producing and consuming natural gas -- including carbon dioxide and methane - are lower or higher than emissions avoided by reducing the use of other energy sources. (2014-05-14)

Green-energy community projects need better government backing
Research from the University of East Anglia reveals that community-led sustainable energy projects are not being taken seriously enough by the government. The research team looked at 12 small-scale projects which aim to reduce energy consumption in local communities across the UK. These included a solar panel project in Brighton, an eco-home development in Bristol, hydro-electricity generation in Cumbria, and a community island buy-out on the Isle of Gigha in Scotland. (2014-05-11)

Discovery offers new possibilities for clean energy research
University of Houston physicists have discovered a new thermoelectric material offering high performance at temperatures ranging from room temperature up to 300 degrees Celsius, or about 573 degrees Fahrenheit. Zhifeng Ren, M.D. Anderson Chair professor of physics at UH and the lead author of a paper describing the discovery, published online by Nano Energy, said the work could be important for clean energy research and commercialization at temperatures of about 300 degrees Celsius. (2014-05-06)

Direct current, another option to improve the electrical power transmission
Even though today most of the electricity transmission lines are alternating current ones, in some cases direct current lines are also used. GISEL research group of the Department of Electrical Engineering of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has been working to improve the technology needed for this conversion. The aim has been that this transmission should be done in a more straightforward, smoother and consequently less expensive way. (2014-04-30)

Power to gas: Storing the wind and sun in natural gas
Electricity from sun and wind is an important part of the energy-mix in Germany. However, there frequently is a gap between the supply of and demand for weather-dependent power. An option is to use it for the production of chemical energy-carriers. Still, the power-to-gas-process is not economically efficient now. The HELMETH-EU-project coordinated by KIT is aimed at demonstrating that efficiencies of over 85 percent can be achieved by using the synergies of existing process steps. (2014-04-22)

White House honors Clemson professor as 'Champion of Change' for solar deployment
The White House honored Clemson professor Rajendra Singh Thursday as a 'Champion of Change' for his efforts to promote and expand solar deployment in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. (2014-04-17)

Stanford scientists model a win-win situation: Growing crops on photovoltaic farms
A new model for solar farms that 'co-locates' crops and solar panels could result in a harvest of valuable biofuel plants along with solar energy. (2014-04-09)

Is the power grid too big?
Researchers are asking whether there is a 'right' size for the US power grid; they believe that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout, likening the grid behavior to sandpiles: 'Sandpiles are stable until you get to a certain height. Then you add one more grain and the whole thing starts to avalanche.' (2014-04-08)

Tiny power generator runs on spit
Saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications, according to an international team of engineers. (2014-04-03)

Software to calculate the environmental, social and economic impacts of transport
A Basque consortium, with the participation of Tecnalia among others, is designing a new tool to improve the sustainability of the transport sector, responsible for 25 percent of greenhouse gases. (2014-04-02)

Americans using more energy according to Lawrence Livermore analysis
Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (2014-04-02)

Electrical engineering professor Javad Lavaei wins NSF Career Award
Javad Lavaei, assistant professor of electrical engineering, has won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research on electrical power networks. The five-year, $400,000 award, National Science Foundation's preeminent recognition of exceptional junior faculty, will support his project, 'High-Performance Optimization Methods for Power Systems.' (2014-03-31)

Revolutionary solar cells double as lasers
Latest research finds that the trailblazing 'perovskite' material used in solar cells can double up as a laser, strongly suggesting the astonishing efficiency levels already achieved in these cells is only part of the journey. (2014-03-28)

NTU scientists discover material that can be solar cell by day, light panel by night
Nanyang Technological University scientists have developed a next-generation solar cell material which can also emit light, in addition to converting light to electricity. (2014-03-24)

Scientists discover potential way to make graphene superconducting
Scientists have discovered a potential way to make graphene -- a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics -- superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency. (2014-03-20)

Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy, Stanford study finds
Stanford researchers have found that the wind industry can easily afford the energetic cost of building batteries and other grid-scale storage technologies. However, for the solar industry, the Stanford team found that more work is needed to make grid-scale storage energetically sustainable. (2014-03-20)

Heat-based technique offers new way to measure microscopic particles
Researchers have developed a new heat-based technique for counting and measuring the size of microscopic particles. The technique is less expensive than light-based techniques and can be used on a wider array of materials than electricity-based techniques. (2014-03-13)

Scientists 'herd' cells in new approach to tissue engineering
UC Berkeley engineers have found that an electrical current can be used to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells. This achievement sets the stage for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as 'smart bandages' that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds. (2014-03-11)

NREL examines solar policy pathways for states
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report that aligns solar policy and market success with state demographics. By organizing the 48 contiguous states into four peer groups based on shared non-policy characteristics, the NREL research team was able to contextualize the impact of various solar policies on photovoltaic installations. (2014-03-11)

A shocking diet
A team of Harvard researchers showed that the commonly found bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris can use natural conductivity to pull electrons from minerals located remotely in soil and sediment while remaining at the surface, where they absorb the sunlight needed to produce energy. (2014-03-10)

Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet
Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany's largest charging station. (2014-03-05)

Transparent, color solar cells fuse energy, beauty
Colorful, see-through solar cells invented at the University of Michigan could one day be used to make stained-glass windows, decorations and even shades that turn the sun's energy into electricity. (2014-03-03)

UC research tests range of electrical frequencies that help heal chronic wounds
Hard-to-heal wounds, like diabetic ulcers, fester because of insufficient blood supply at the wound site. However, the application of an electrical stimulus can promote the growth of blood vessels, and new UC research examines the best stimulus parameters -- such as frequency and magnitude -- for successful therapy. (2014-03-03)

Methane leaks from palm oil wastewater are a climate concern, CU-Boulder study says
In recent years, palm oil production has come under fire from environmentalists concerned about the deforestation of land in the tropics to make way for new palm plantations. Now there is a new reason to be concerned about palm oil's environmental impact, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. (2014-02-27)

Sustainable energy is focus of plenary talks at American Chemical Society meeting
Advances in renewable and sustainable energy, including mimicking photosynthesis and optimizing lithium-ion batteries, are the topics of three plenary talks at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, taking place here from March 16-20. (2014-02-27)

Taming hurricanes
Offshore wind turbines have the potential to weaken hurricanes and reduce storm surge, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change. (2014-02-26)

Improvement in polymers for aviation
A study by the UPV/EHU's Polymer Technology Group has obtained splendid results, made possible by the use of carbon nanotubes, in the improvement in mechanical properties and electrical conductivity of the poly(ether imide) polymer, used for developing aircraft parts, among other things. (2014-02-25)

Nanoscale pillars could radically improve conversion of heat to electricity
University of Colorado Boulder scientists have found a creative way to radically improve thermoelectric materials, a finding that could one day lead to the development of improved solar panels, more energy-efficient cooling equipment, and even the creation of new devices that could turn the vast amounts of heat wasted at power plants into more electricity. (2014-02-20)

New research blows away claims that aging wind farms are a bad investment
Wind turbines can remain productive for up to 25 years, making wind farms an attractive long-term choice for energy investors, according to new research. (2014-02-20)

NREL scientist named AAAS Fellow
David S. Ginley, a materials scientist at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has been named a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, an honor accorded to at most 1 percent of the prestigious scientific society's membership each year. AAAS cited Ginley for 'distinguished contributions in renewable energy and sustainability, especially photovoltaics, batteries and fuel cells, and in developing materials and forums for student interactions on these topics.' (2014-02-18)

Solar-induced hybrid fuel cell produces electricity directly from biomass
Researchers have developed a new type of low-temperature fuel cell that directly converts biomass to electricity with assistance from a catalyst activated by solar or thermal energy. The hybrid fuel cell can use a wide variety of biomass sources, including starch, cellulose, lignin -- and even switchgrass, powdered wood, algae and waste from poultry processing. (2014-02-18)

NREL report finds similar value in 2 CSP technologies
Parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power plants, despite different solar profiles, a new report by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found. (2014-02-11)

Gummy material addresses safety concerns of lithium ion batteries
A group of Washington State University researchers have developed a chewing gum-like battery material that could dramatically improve the safety of lithium ion batteries. (2014-02-04)

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