NEW TECHNOLOGIES

NEW TECHNOLOGIES

To stay within the targeted limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, scientists insist that we need to reduce the carbon that’s already in the atmosphere as well as dropping new emissions to net-zero. In so far as fossil fuels—including coal, oil, and natural gas-- still supply 80% of the world’s energy needs (2020 numbers), it is clear that those emissions have to be cut at least in half by 2030.

The good news is that, according to the IPCC report (April, 2022), we can do it. Renewables are now significantly undercutting fossil fuels as the world’s cheapest source of energy, according to a new report. In a 2022 piece by Umair Irfan in Vox covering the final instalment of the IPCC report which examined tactics to mitigate climate change, the price of solar electricity has dropped 89% between 2009-2019. Onshore wind energy has also dropped in the past decade – by 70%. Of the wind, solar and other renewables that came on stream in 2020, nearly two-thirds – 62% -- were cheaper than the cheapest new fossil fuel. It is no surprise then, that projections from the EIA suggest solar power will account for 46% of new U.S. electric generating capacity, with wind at 17% and nuclear @ 5% in 2022.

The challenging news is that meeting that goal will, however, require major transitions in the energy sector. Existing clean energy technologies were, as recently as 2020, evaluated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and four main decarbonization approaches were identified as significant if we were to reach our goals: electrification of end usage (particularly heating and transportation); carbon capture, utilization, and storage; low-carbon hydrogen and hydrogen fuels; and bioenergy. This is because, even if we cut most of our carbon emissions down to zero, the carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere can affect climate for hundreds to thousands of years.

So, even as keeping fossil fuels in the ground is the surest known way to prevent further warming, the search is clearly on for other solutions. Scientists say we will not meet targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius without removing some of the CO2 we have already emitted. The IPCC projects between 100 billion and 1 trillion tons of CO2 would need to be removed this century.

The unsettling news is that, of the more than 400 technologies within those four categories identified by the IEA, few are on track to meet the necessary goals:

  • In low-carbon electricity, where we have made important progress in solar, wind, geothermal, and nuclear generation, our infrastructure and use in industry is lagging. The development of long duration storage as a solution to extend the reach of renewable energy --otherwise limited by the amount of time the sun shines and the wind blows -- is not where anyone wants it to be--yet. Battery storage is critical in the transportation sector as the race is on to accelerate the speed by which electric vehicles can be charged AND accelerate the longevity of those batteries. This matters as individuals and communities search for ways to protect themselves from economic impacts and power outages. It matters to utilities as they search for solutions to provide reliability, integrate clean energy into the grid, and reduce the cost of energy. Lithium-ion batteries, which are both improving and becoming cheaper ( 97% in the past three decades ) are vital to the transportation sector because, as they become less expensive and more efficient, so do electric vehicles. Graphene aluminum-ion batteries are promising ever more improvements and cost efficiencies although not ideal for long-duration energy storage --yet. Adden Energy, a Harvard spinoff, announced in September 2022 a “game changing” new solid-state battery which promises, among other things, a 3-minute charge for electric vehicles.
  • As far as carbon capture is concerned, there are two carbon removal strategies:
    • One is biological and looks to the natural world for solutions, amplifying the carbon-capturing qualities of the ocean, forests, and sedimentary rocks, creating underwater kelp farms, planting trees, and expanding soil carbon sequestration. “Greening up agriculture” is a term entrepreneurs are using as they look to develop floating solar, the “air gen” system which makes electricity out of moisture in the air, and “perovskite-silicon cell which converts sunlight into electricity. There are even various large-scale schemes to intervene in the earth’s oceans, soils, and atmosphere being explored through climate geoengineering.
    • The other is more technological or chemical. Direct air capture is designed to eliminate carbon, either by sucking it out of the air and storing it deep underground (sometimes called “carbon mineralization”) or by converting it into something else (fuel, for example). This technology has caught the attention of the business world and the government. For example, the Inflation Reduction Act offers massive tax credits to companies per ton of carbon they capture. At the end of the day, given carbon capture, removal, and storage’s long-term importance for the decarbonization of energy-intensive industries and reduction of historical emissions, the challenge lies in making them commercially viable, at scale, and swiftly.
  • Another way to store renewable energy is by using electrolyzers to extract hydrogen from water. In this technology, engineers run an electric current through water and collect the hydrogen molecules that break off. These can be burned for heat, stored in fuel cells or turned into chemicals such as methane for processes that require fossil fuels. When the electrolyzer system is used to produce hydrogen as a fuel, the only emission is water vapor. This concept is better known as ‘Power-to-X’ --taking grid electricity (power) and turning it into something else. In this case the ‘X’ is hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen is also being looked at to decarbonize heavy industry --a high-polluting sector that has mostly been overlooked. The high heat needed to process industrial materials — such as concrete, iron, steel, and petrochemicals — is responsible for about 10 percent of global CO2 emissions, according to a report from the Centre on Global Energy Policy. Zero-carbon hydrogen is attracting attention not just for use in industrial transportation but also as chemical energy for industry.
  • And, then there is bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) -- whereby plants are burned for energy at a power plant, which then captures and stores the resulting emissions so that the CO2 previously absorbed by the plants is removed from the atmosphere. It can then be used for enhanced oil recovery or injected into the earth where it is sequestered in geologic formations.
  • Technologies and ventures that turn methane into biogas, known as renewable natural gas (RNG) are also taking off. Vanguard Renewables is, for example, partnering with companies like Unliever and Starbucks to turn their food and agricultural waste (including manure) into renewable natural gas and by-products such as fertilizer. Some of these investments will no doubt be controversial with climate activists, who are likely to argue (legitimately) that they perpetuate natural gas extraction processes.
  • There is no doubt, however, that regulating methane gas is critical for advancing President Joe Biden’s goal to slash U.S. emissions in half from 2005 levels over the next decade and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. In the challenge to cut gas leaks a number of companies are developing emission tracking tools:
    • A new initiative called Climate TRACE, for example, is working on an app that can track all human-produced pollution and trace it to its source. TRACE’s goal to promote radical transmission transparency through publicly available, comprehensive data, could drive accountability on emission reductions as well as more accurately alert corporations, municipalities, and countries where they can cut emissions. They are not alone in working to harness satellite data into actionable information.
    • The DoE has already awarded $5 million to LongPath Technologies, which is developing a methane gas detection network in the Permian Basin.
    • Another high-profile project is Methane SAT, a satellite operation being launched by the Environmental Defense Fund. The organization’s launch partner is Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket company, and the hope is to put a satellite into orbit in fall 2022. Infrared detection technology from Ball Aerospace will be on board.
    • Another satellite network to watch is Carbon Mapper, which includes climate-tech firm Planet and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The first launch in its “constellation” of satellites for monitoring methane and CO2 is anticipated in 2023. (More on methane detectives.)
  • And what of the group of industrial chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)? Used primarily for cooling and refrigeration, they are 3,790 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 20-year period. Cooling accounts for more than 7% of global GHG emissions and is expected to triple as the earth heats up. In response, the Biden administration passed the AIM Act in 2021 directing the EPA to phase down production and consumption of HFCs in the U.S. by 85% over the next 15 years. While emerging methane innovations mainly seem to be about capturing, monitoring and reusing, there are dozens of entrepreneurs developing entirely new approaches to cooling --that sidestep HFCs.

Time is of the essence.

Overview of climate mitigation options and their estimated ranges of costs and potentials in 2030

Courtesy Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

CREDIT: IPCC

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

WIPO Launches New Flagship Report “Green Technology Book”; First Edition Focuses on Climate-Change Adaptation

11/10/22
WIPO today launched the first edition of its “Green Technology Book” focusing on climate-change adaptation – placing these measures on equal footing with mitigation measures.

Sixth Assessment Report

09/22/22
The Working Group I contribution was released on 9 August 2021. The Working Group II and III contributions were released on 28 February and 4 April 2022 respectively.

Armstrong Flight Research Center

09/22/22
NASA is researching ideas that could lead to the development of electric propulsion-powered aircraft, which would be quieter, more efficient and environmentally friendly than today's commuter aircraft.

Why Big Tech Is Pouring Money Into Carbon Removal

06/28/22
The market for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is expanding rapidly, as major tech companies are funneling nearly a billion dollars to early-stage startups that are experimenting with various methods of carbon capture and…

This is what we need to invent to fight climate change

05/06/22
The world now has many of the tools needed to keep climate change in check, the United Nations’ climate research team reported last month. But humanity will still need to invent newer and better ones…

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

10/18/21
Carbon capture and storage (or sequestration)—known as CCS—is a process that involves capturing man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) at its source and storing it permanently underground. CCS could reduce the amount of CO2—an important greenhouse gas—emitted…

Cooling Solutions Challenge

09/28/21
Protecting the public from heat-related illness and death during extreme heat events or in connection with other disasters is an important part of disaster preparedness and resilience and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) mission.…

The Gallery of Clean Energy Inventions

07/08/21
The Gallery of Clean Energy Inventions exhibits profiles of 25 Larger Generators, 34 Smaller Generators, 26 Advanced Self-Powered Electric Vehicle Innovations, 29 Radioactivity Neutralization Methods, 30 Space Travel Innovations, 21 Technical Solutions to Water Shortages,…

Mapping the way to climate resilience

07/05/21
Key takeawaysAs the deleterious effects of climate change threaten to disrupt business globally, plans to counter them are making their way into corporate agendas. Case in point: telecom AT&T is using spatial data analysis and…

Renewables were the world’s cheapest source of energy in 2020, new report shows

07/05/21
Renewables are now significantly undercutting fossil fuels as the world’s cheapest source of energy, according to a new report.

Setting the Record Straight About Renewable Energy

05/28/21
As analysts and observers of the transition to a lower-carbon and workable energy economy, we don’t normally write about films. But we’re venturing into the realm of cultural commentary in light of the recent release…

What is Solar Geoengineering and Why is it Controversial?

05/28/21
The fact is the CO2 is in the atmosphere. Without a time machine, we can't make it go away. We want to, in the long run, do carbon removal. But during the time that concentrations…

GEOENGINEERING MONITOR

05/28/21
Climate geoengineering refers to large-scale schemes for intervention in the earth’s oceans, soils and atmosphere with the aim of reducing the effects of climate change, usually temporarily.

Climate Trace

05/28/21
Climate Trace exist to make meaningful climate action faster and easier by mobilizing the global tech community—harnessing satellites, artificial intelligence, and collective expertise—to track human-caused emissions to specific sources in real time—independently and publicly.

Resilience

05/28/21
Discover the resilience technologies helping countries and municipalities with preparedness, responsiveness and recovery for a more secure world.

Biomimicry Institute

05/28/21
Biomimicry offers an empathetic, interconnected understanding of how life works and ultimately where we fit in. It is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies used by species alive today. The goal is…

Carbon Capture Coalition

05/28/21
The Carbon Capture Coalition is a nonpartisan collaboration of more than 80 businesses and organizations building federal policy support to enable economywide, commercial scale deployment of carbon capture technologies, which includes carbon capture, removal, transport,…

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage

05/28/21
The role of carbon capture, utilization, and storage continues to grow as we recognize that our climate targets will be harder and harder to reach. Recent IPCC studies have demonstrated the critical importance of carbon…

The world’s leading CCS think tank

05/28/21
The Global CCS Institute is an international think tank whose mission is to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a vital technology to tackle climate change and deliver climate neutrality.

A Round-up of Carbon Capture Projects Around The World

05/28/21
2021 will be a year of climate commitments. On the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the pressure is mounting for nations to raise their ambitions and set firm commitments to reach net-zero by 2050.…

10 technologies that could combat climate change as food demand soars

07/13/20
A new study from the World Bank and UN finds we’ll need ways to boost yields faster than ever before to prevent agricultural emissions from soaring.

Climate – Data.gov

06/11/20
Here you can find data related to climate change that can help inform and prepare America’s communities, businesses, and citizens. You can currently find data and resources related to coastal flooding, food resilience, water, ecosystem…

Climate Solutions: Technologies to Slow Climate Change

04/22/20
But experts say there is no silver bullet to protect the climate — and that keeping fossil fuels in the ground is the surest known way to prevent further warming.

5 tech innovations that could save us from climate change

04/22/20
So he, along with some of the world’s richest people, have launched a fund to invest in solutions driven by technology. It will bring together governments and research institutions and billionaire investors who will try to limit…

Carbon Capture Technology Explained

10/24/19
Today, mankind’s collective activity deposits about 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. All of this carbon dioxide traps heat from the sun and warms the entire planet, creating new conditions…

MORE NEWS

Climate activists pan carbon capture plans

By Douglas Fischer   07/20/21  
More than 500 environmental and community groups – from the Nassau Hiking & Outdoor Club to Greenpeace USA – have called on United States and Canadian leaders to abandon efforts to capture carbon emissions from…

DOE Quietly Backs Plan for Carbon Capture Network Larger Than Entire Oil Pipeline System

By Sharon Kelly  Photo: Kilian Munch   07/18/21  
An organization run by former Obama-era Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, with the backing of the AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 labor unions, has created a policy “blueprint” to build a nationwide pipeline network capable of carrying a gigaton of…

A Lifeline for a Coal Plant Gives Hope to a North Dakota Town.

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Acker/bloomberg via getty images   07/17/21  
In a town with fewer than 1,000 people, losing an employer tied to about 700 jobs is a kind of death, and that’s what Underwood, North Dakota, was facing until two weeks ago. Great River…

Carbon removal hype is becoming a dangerous distraction

By James Temple   07/08/21  
In February, oil giant Shell trumpeted a scenario in which the world pulls global warming back to 1.5 ˚C by 2100, even as natural gas, oil, and coal continue to generate huge shares of the…

This photographer-scientists collaboration shows the speed of climate change

By Ian van Coller   06/30/21  
Climate change is warping geological time, compressing the time scales of natural processes. In photographs taken around the world, Ian van Coller has documented these shifts, reflected in rocks, sediment, and the shrinking of glaciers.

A Space Laser Shows How Catastrophic Sea Level Rise Will Be

By Matt Simon  Photo: Adek Berry/getty Images   06/29/21  
An actual space laser is cruising 300 miles above your head right now. Launched in 2018, NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite packs a lidar instrument, the same kind of technology that allows self-driving cars to see in…

Has the Carbontech Revolution Begun?

By Jon Gertner  Photo: Christopher Payne   06/27/21  
You have probably set foot on Interface products. The company, based in Atlanta, makes commercial flooring — carpet tiles, lightly napped, highly durable, easily overlooked in the commercial offices and educational facilities where they are…

What it will take to achieve affordable carbon removal

By James Temple   06/24/21  
A pair of companies have begun designing what could become Europe’s largest direct-air-capture plant, capable of capturing as much as a million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and burying it deep beneath the…

These Are The Startups Applying AI To Tackle Climate Change

By Rob Toews   06/20/21  
Climate change is the most pressing threat that the human species faces today. Artificial intelligence is the most powerful tool that humanity has at its disposal in the twenty-first century.

Bill Nye Urges Congress to ‘Boldly’ Invest in Climate Change Solutions

By Michael d'Estries  Photo: Amanda Edwards , Getty Images   06/10/21  
Speaking with members of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery this past Tuesday, science educator Bill Nye
DOE

DOE Awards $54 Million to 235 American Small Businesses Developing Novel Clean Energy And Climate Solutions

06/09/21  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced 235 small businesses, across 42 states, will receive $54 million in critical seed funding for 266 projects that are developing and deploying proof-of-concept prototypes for a wide…

Why the low carbon transition may be much cheaper than models predict

By Alexandra Poncia, Paul Drummond, Michael Grubb   05/26/21  
To achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century, global energy systems must undergo a wholesale switch to low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies. However, many models used to chart this transition imply that there are benefits in delaying investment…

Airships for city hops could cut flying’s CO2 emissions by 90%

By Rupert Neate   05/26/21  
For those fancying a trip from Liverpool to Belfast or Barcelona to the Balearic Islands but concerned about the carbon footprint of aeroplane travel, a small Bedford-based company is promising a surprising solution: commercial airships.…

Column: Is Elon Musk trying to destroy bitcoin over environmental concerns?

By Michael Hiltzik  Photo: Jerome Adamstein/Los Angeles Times   05/17/21  
For anyone still wondering why bitcoin lost nearly 8% of its value in the blink of an eye Sunday and has slid even more on Monday, we have two words of explanation: Elon Musk. Since…

For Clean Energy, Buy American or Buy It Quick and Cheap?

By Jessica Murray  Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images   05/16/21  
US climate envoy says people will not have to give up quality of life to achieve some of net zero goals

Experts highlight advanced satellite data as vital tool in tackling climate change as countdown to COP26 continues

By University of Bristol  Photo: ESA   05/14/21  
Earth observation satellites provide the most comprehensive real-time check on the health of the planet and are playing a crucial role in the fight against global heating now and increasingly in future, according to leading…

Developer Of Aluminum-Ion Battery Claims It Charges 60 Times Faster Than Lithium

By Michael Ray Taylor  Photo: Graphene Manufacturing Group   05/13/21  
Range anxiety, recycling and fast-charging fears could all be consigned to electric-vehicle history with a nanotech-driven Australian battery invention. The graphene aluminum-ion battery cells from the Brisbane-based Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) are claimed to charge…

How a ‘digital ocean’ can unlock climate fighting potential

By Julie Aangus and Michael D. Brasseur  Photo: istock   05/13/21  
Our oceans represent our single best opportunity to avert the pending climate crisis. However, oceans are suffering and underperforming as a result of human development. The warning signs are flashing red with rising ocean temperatures,…

2050 Is Closer Than 1990

By Robinson Meyer  Photo: Frances M. Ginter / Hulton / Getty   05/12/21  
In February 2020, I traveled to New York to celebrate a zeroth birthday and an 80th birthday. First, I saw a close friend’s baby, who had been born only a month earlier. The next day,…
BBC

The world’s first ‘infinite’ plastic

By Katherine Latham   05/12/21  
There is one man-made material that you can find in the earth, the air and in the deepest ocean trenches. It is so durable that the majority of what has been created is still present in…

Twenty plastic-busting inventions to clean our rivers and seas

By Emma Bryce  Photo: The Ocean Cleanup   05/10/21  
There’s an incomprehensible amount of plastic in the ocean – estimates put the known total at 5 trillion individual pieces, or around 150 million tonnes. An additional 8 million tonnes finds its way into the…

New electric vehicle charging research could allow drivers to power their cars as they drive on the highway

By Grace Kay  Photo: Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty Images   05/09/21  
Khurram Afridi, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell, is honing technology that would allow drivers to charge their electric vehicle while they are in motion. He has been working on a…

Carbon Capture Technologies Are Improving Nicely

By John Fialka  Photo: Matt Champlin/Getty Images   05/07/21  
The laboratory, like other Department of Energy labs, does its work through partnerships with industries and universities. From its recent experiences, it estimates that trapping, shipping and storing carbon dioxide will eventually create “tens of…

This startup grows kelp then sinks it to pull carbon from the air

By Alexis Benveniste   05/03/21  
Carbon emissions are a huge contributor to climate change, so companies are getting creative about finding ways to suck the heat-trapping element out of the atmosphere and slow global warming...

Carbon capture and “dimming” the sun: Climate geoengineering poses technical and ethical dilemmas

By Jeff Berardelli  Photo: Luke Sharrett/Getty Images   04/23/21  
The climate crisis is arguably the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced, and to limit warming to manageable levels, time is our biggest opponent. While the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner renewable energy is…

Agrivoltaics: Solar farming our way out of a climate crisis

By Parker Hughes   04/23/21  
Progress: To meet President Joe Biden’s green energy plan to move the US to carbon-free electricity by 2035, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology will likely consume a larger chunk of our nation’s energy portfolio. Yet conventional…

NASA Technologies Spin off to Fight Climate Change

By Mike DiCicco  Photo Credit: NASA   04/21/21  
NASA’s work has generated countless spinoffs that are now on the front lines of the fight against climate change. That shouldn’t be a surprise, since the agency’s missions include studying Earth and improving aircraft efficiency.

Clock’s running out on climate change. California says it’s time for giant carbon vacuums

By Evan Halper   04/19/21  
Solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars will go far in helping California and the Biden administration meet their aggressive climate goals — but not far enough. As time runs short, scientists and government officials say…

Whitest-ever paint could help cool heating Earth, study shows

By Damian Carrington  Photo: Jared Pike   04/15/21  
The whitest-ever paint has been produced by academic researchers, with the aim of boosting the cooling of buildings and tackling the climate crisis. The new paint reflects 98% of sunlight as well as radiating infrared…

NFTs Are Shaking Up the Art World. They May Be Warming the Planet, Too.

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo by Joanie Lemercier   04/13/21  
When Chris Precht, an Austrian architect and artist, first learned about nonfungible tokens, the digital collectibles taking the art world by storm, he was so enthralled, he said, he “felt like a little kid again.”

Enertia Plans Mass Timber ‘Energy’ Campus in NC Research Triangle

04/05/21  
Enertia® Building Systems, Inc. now the world leader in Mass Timber technology, is planning a Mass Timber Research Campus to explore new MT/Species layups, timber enhancement, and carbon storage. Mass timber is the most exciting…

Test Flight for Sunlight-Blocking Research Is Canceled

By Henry Fountain and Christopher Flavelle   04/02/21  
A test flight for researching ways to cool Earth by blocking sunlight will not take place as planned in Sweden this June, following objections from environmentalists, scientists and Indigenous groups there.

Carbon Capture Coalition Statement on the American Jobs Plan

03/31/21  
The Carbon Capture Coalition today issued the following statement in response to the release of “The American Jobs Plan,” a new package of infrastructure initiatives introduced by the Biden Administration. The following statement may be…

New Report Says U.S. Should Cautiously Pursue Solar Geoengineering

03/25/21  
Given the urgency of the risks posed by climate change, the U.S. should pursue a research program for solar geoengineering — in coordination with other nations, subject to governance, and alongside a robust portfolio of…

The Direct-Air Capture Debate

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After decades of frustrating lack of progress in direct-air capture of CO2, the idea has suddenly caught fire. Recently, the U.S. Congress approved $447 million for R&D projects, United Airlines announced a multimillion-dollar initiative, and…

Should We Block the Sun? Scientists Say the Time Has Come to Study It.

By Christopher Flavelle   03/25/21  
The idea of artificially cooling the planet to blunt climate change — in effect, blocking sunlight before it can warm the atmosphere — got a boost on Thursday when an influential scientific body urged the…

New Tech to Tackle the Climate Crisis

By Tim Dickinson  Photo: Roland Weihrauch/picture-alliance/dpa/AP   03/24/21  
Climate change can make us feel hopeless. From superstorms and megafires to melting ice caps and rising seas, the ravages of global warming are only getting worse. If human activity is driving us to the…

The economics of covering California’s water system with solar panels

By John Timmer   03/19/21  
A major factor driving the growth of solar power in the US has been the economics of large, utility-scale solar projects. The scale of plants ensures that their developers can buy components in bulk, use…

Tomlinson: Texas Blackout sparks interest in generators to keep power on, fight climate change

By Chris Tomlinson  Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer   03/15/21  
Texas businesses and homeowners are scrambling to buy back-up generators following last month’s Texas Blackout, calculating the benefits will outweigh the costs the next time a polar vortex pays a visit.

DOE Invests In Carbon Capture, Energy Infrastructure Improvements and Clean Energy Workforce

03/10/21  
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm continues to charge ahead — yesterday announcing $52 million in grants to centers around the country that provide direct, hands-on, and free assistance to American manufacturers and wastewater treatment facilities to…

Exxon, Once a Skeptic, Sees Profit in Capturing Carbon Emissions

By Christopher M. Matthews   03/03/21  
Exxon Mobil Corp. says the time has come to turn capturing carbon emissions into a real business, as it faces pressure from activists to become a greener company. That represents an about-face for the Texas…

Staff picks: potential energy game-changers for 2021

By JP Casey, Yoana Cholteeva and others  Photo: Tim Graham/Alamy Stock Photo   03/01/21  
Innovation in the energy industry is soaring as governments commit to ever more ambitious climate targets and money pours into new technologies. Our staff writers highlight some of the potential energy game-changers for 2021.

It looks like the Batmobile, works on solar energy, and could be the future of cars

By Sarah Kaplan and Aaron Steckelberg  Photo by Jane Hahn   02/25/21  
The dream began in 1955, with a tiny, toylike creation called the “Sunmobile.” Built from balsa wood and hobby shop tires, it was just 15 inches long. The 12 selenium solar cells that decorated its…

New plant-based plastics can be chemically recycled with near-perfect efficiency

By Zack Fishman  Photo: University of Konstanz/Mecking group   02/17/21  
German chemists have developed two sustainable plastic alternatives to high-density polyethylene that can be chemically recycled more easily and nearly 10 times as efficiently, thanks to “break points” engineered into their molecular structures.

Why clean energy’s future may depend on molten salt, trains, and cranes

By Daniellie Abril   02/16/21  
Startups are racing to create new technologies—many seemingly far-out—to help in the shift to renewable energy. Their goal is to solve one of the solar and wind industry's biggest problems: how to store energy over…
NPR

Northwest Natural Gas Company’s Plan For A Carbon Neutral Gas System

By Cassandra Profita   02/15/21  
Natural gas companies face an existential threat as more governments and businesses move to tackle climate change. But a growing number have their own plans to decarbonize, by creating renewable gas.

Geoengineering: What could possibly go wrong? Elizabeth Kolbert’s take, in her new book

By Shannon Osaka   02/11/21  
In Australia, scientists collect buckets of coral sperm, mixing one species with another in an attempt to create a new “super coral” that can withstand rising temperatures and acidifying seas. In Nevada, scientists nurse a…

Elon Musk, X Prize unveil $100 million carbon-capture contest

By Mike Wal  Photo by Saul Martinez   02/09/21  
Elon Musk wants your ideas about how to fight climate change — and he's willing to pay top dollar for them. The billionaire SpaceX and Tesla chief and his Musk Foundation are funding a new…

NASA Satellites Help Quantify Forests’ Impacts on Global Carbon Budget

By Lara Streiff  Photo: Malene Thyssen   02/04/21  
Using ground, airborne, and satellite data, a diverse team of international researchers – including NASA scientists – has created a new method to assess how the changes in forests over the past two decades have…

Elon And Exxon Agree: Carbon Capture Is Set To Explode In 2021

By David Blackmon  Photo: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images   02/04/21  
There is little question that carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCSU) is destined to become one of America’s big growth industries in the years to come. Tesla TSLA +1.9% TSLA +1.9% TSLA +1.9% and SpaceX…