• Climate mitigationU.S. Power Sector is Halfway to Zero Carbon Emissions

    Concerns about climate change are driving a growing number of states, utilities, and corporations to set the goal of zeroing out power-sector carbon emissions. To date 17 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have adopted laws or executive orders to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity in the next couple of decades. Additionally, 46 U.S. utilities have pledged to go carbon free no later than 2050. Altogether, these goals cover about half of the U.S. population and economy.

  • Supply chain securitySupply Chains and National Security

    By Bradley Martin

    What became apparent during the pandemic is that the supply chain for ventilator components is spread across the globe, including into areas of China where factories were shut due to the pandemic. Ultimately, chains were reconstituted, and manufacturing began such that by summer there was in fact an excess of ventilator inventory. But the case was instructive. Even with no attempt by anyone to disrupt supply, an unexpected event challenged the ability of the United States to react to a major crisis.

  • Communication technologyLow-Cost NIST Demo Links Public Safety Radios to Broadband Wireless Network

    Engineers have built a low-cost computer system that connects older public safety radios with the latest wireless communications networks, showing how first responders might easily take advantage of broadband technology offering voice, text, instant messages, video and data capabilities.

  • Negative emission technologiesNegative Emissions, Positive Economy

    By Mark Dwortzan

    The long-term goals of the Paris Agreement — keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and ideally 1.5 C in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change — may not be achievable by greenhouse gas emissions-reduction measures alone. Most scenarios for meeting these targets also require the deployment of negative emissions technologies (NETs) that remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage could help stabilize the climate without breaking the bank.

  • Hemispheric securityU.S. “Monitoring” as Iran Sends Fuel Tankers to Venezuela in Defiance of Sanctions

    By Michael Lipin

    As Iran sent three gasoline shipments to fuel-starved Venezuela in recent months in defiance of U.S. sanctions, the Biden administration apparently did nothing to stop the tankers, signaling a reticence to enforce the sanctions and a savviness by the anti-U.S. allies in evading them.

  • CybersecurityCybersecurity Guide Tailored to the Hospitality Industry

    A new practical cybersecurity guide from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can help hotel owners reduce the risks to a highly vulnerable and attractive target for hackers: the hotel property management system (PMS), which stores guests’ personal information and credit card data. 

  • China watchLawmakers Back 5G Alternatives to China-Made Equipment

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) led a bipartisan group of Senators in urging President Joe Biden to request at least $3 billion as part of his budget request to Congress for the adoption of 5G alternatives to Chinese-made equipment. Specifically, the Senators urged Biden to request at least $1.5 billion each for two funds established by Congress to encourage the adoption of Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) equipment, which would allow additional vendors to enter the 5G market and compete with manufacturers like Huawei, which is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government.

  • Supply chain securityWhy You Should Expect More Suez-Like Supply Chain Disruptions and Shortages at Your Local Grocery Store

    By Nada R. Sanders

    When the Ever Given container ship choked off traffic in the Suez Canal for almost a week in late March 2021, it made big headlines around the world. Yet many people I spoke with, including students and professional colleagues, didn’t seem to have a clue about what was happening, why it mattered or how it affects them.

  • Emergency CommunicationsCybersecurity Tech for Emergency Communications Centers

    DHS S&T is expanding pilot testing of a technology to improve the cybersecurity defenses of the nation’s emergency communications infrastructure. Odenton, Md.-based SecuLore Solutions in the research and development (R&D) of a cybersecurity defense solution based on predictive analytics and cyber data that helps detect and mitigate cybersecurity attacks against legacy emergency communications systems and new Next Generation 911 (NG911) and Internet Protocol-based technologies.

  • Rare Earth elementsThe U.S. Is Worried about Its Critical Minerals Supply Chains – Essential for Electric Vehicles, Wind Power and the Nation’s Defense

    By Jordy Lee and Morgan Bazilian

    When U.S. companies build military weapons systems, electric vehicle batteries, satellites and wind turbines, they rely heavily on a few dozen “critical minerals” – many of which are mined and refined almost entirely by other countries. Building a single F-35A fighter jet, for example, requires at least 920 pounds of rare earth elements that come primarily from China. That level of dependence on imports worries the U.S. government.

  • China watchShining Light on China’s Secretive International Lending Program

    A new study and dataset reveal previously unknown details about China—the world’s largest official creditor—and its lending practices to developing countries. A cache of documents shows that Chinese loan contracts have unusual secrecy provisions, collateral requirements, and debt renegotiation restrictions.

  • BiosecurityMonitoring Current and Future Biological Threats

    DHS S&T has awarded $199,648 to Mesur.io Inc., for analysis and reporting of outbreak-related data. The Mesur.io project proposes to adapt their Earthstream Platform to provide DHS and NBIC with data that tracks metrics related to an outbreak or emergence to predict various risks of a biological threat.

  • Grid securityIntegration Can Prevent Failures in Large Power Grids

    The recent power outages in Texas brought attention to its power grid being separated from the rest of the country. While it is not immediately clear whether integration with other parts of the national grid would have completely eliminated the need for rolling outages, the state’s inability to import significant amounts of electricity was decisive in the blackout.

  • China watchHow Should the United States Compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

    By Jennifer Hillman and David Sacks

    China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the country’s most ambitious foreign policy undertaking in modern times and is central to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s legacy. BRI, which dwarfs the Marshall Plan in scale, has funded and built roads, power plants, ports, railways, fifth-generation (5G) networks, and fiber-optic cables around the world. While BRI initially sought to connect countries in Central, South, and Southeast Asia with China, it has since transformed into a globe-spanning enterprise encompassing 139 countries.

  • Maritime securitySuez Canal Container Ship Accident Is a Worst-Case Scenario for Global Trade

    By Rory Hopcraft, Kevin Jones, and Kimberly Tam

    It’s estimated that 90 percent of the world’s trade is transported by sea. As consumers, we rarely give much thought to how the things we buy make their way across the planet and into our homes. That is, until an incident like the recent grounding of a huge container ship, the Ever Given, in the Suez Canal exposes the weaknesses in this global system.