• Energy securityReducing U.S. Fossil-Fuel Dependence: Left, Right Agree on Goal, Differ on Means

    Both sides of the political spectrum recognize a need to reduce American dependence on carbon-based energy sources, but how the nation does so remains a divisive issue, a new study found.

  • Energy securityCoal Developers Risk $600 Billion As Renewables Outcompete Worldwide

    Coal developers risk wasting more than $600 billion because it is already cheaper to generate electricity from new renewables than from new coal plants in all major markets, the financial think tank Carbon Tracker warns in a new report. The report also finds that over 60 percent of global coal power plants are generating electricity at higher cost than it could be produced by building new renewables. By 2030 at the latest it will be cheaper to build new wind or solar capacity than continue operating coal in all markets.

  • Western hemisphereAmerican Observers Threatened over Guyana Election Results

    Tensions are rising in newly oil-rich Guyana with nearly 100 percent of the votes now reported from Monday’s national election. The governing APNU party appears to have lost to the opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). International elections observers – mostly Americans – are now being menaced and threatened by APNU to leave or face arrest. Guyana’s election is being watched closely because the winner will be in control of a coming oil boom which will transform Guyana. In December Exxon began commercial exploitation of a huge 2016 oil discovery off the coast, and production is expected to grow from 52,000 barrels per day to over 750,000 by 2025.

  • Energy securityProtecting the U.S. Wind Energy Infrastructure

    As the planet becomes more reliant on computers and more connected via the internet, our nation’s critical infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. This is especially true for power utilities and the electric grid, which offer tempting targets to hostile actors due to the ability to cause widespread power outages or other disruptions. Indeed, cyber criminals have already infiltrated the nation’s power infrastructure, and experts say now is the time to protect these vital assets.

  • Nuclear wasteNuclear Waste Recycled for Diamond Battery Power

    A team of physicists and chemists hope to recycle radioactive material directly from a former nuclear power plant in Gloucestershire, U.K., to generate ultra-long-lasting power sources.

  • Energy securityThe Promise of Geothermal Energy

    Geothermal energy has a lot going for it. It’s a domestic power source that is clean, reliable and proven. It also is plentiful. But there are challenges holding geothermal energy back. Researchers are working on ways to overcome some of those barriers.

  • Nuclear securityThe Nexus Between Nuclear Energy & Nuclear Security

    By Greg Witt

    Despite the plentiful and relatively cheap energy available in the upper-income countries, nearly one billion people worldwide have no consistent access to electricity, with another one billion having reduced access to healthcare due to energy poverty and a further 2.7 billion relying on biomass as their primary source of energy. Any program hoping to ameliorate these challenges would almost certainly require a radical expansion in global electricity generation. While renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, will inevitably play a role in any low-carbon future, any genuinely sustainable energy future would also require a massive investment in nuclear energy.

  • Power gridDevice Helps Building “Negotiate” with Power Grid during Peak Demand

    Like its name suggests, Intelligent Load Control (ILC) technology is a smart tool for automatically managing electricity loads in buildings, particularly at times when the power grid needs help with meeting broader demand.

  • Energy securityHow Much Energy Does Humanity Really Need?

    Two fundamental goals of humanity are to eradicate poverty and reduce climate change, and it is critical that the world knows whether achieving these goals will involve trade-offs. New research for the first time provides a basis to answer this question, including the tools needed to relate basic needs directly to resource use.

  • Energy & healthSwitching to Renewable Energy May Save Thousands of Lives in Africa

    With economies and populations surging, an industrial revolution is inevitable on the African continent. The question is, what’s going to power it? With renewable energy cheaper and more efficient than ever, countries in Africa have the unique opportunity to harness abundant renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal to leapfrog the dependence on fossil fuels that has poisoned the air and environment in Europe, the U.S., India and China. But will they?

  • Energy securityA First: U.K. Renewables Generate More Electricity than Fossil Fuels

    In the third quarter of 2019, the U.K.’s windfarms, solar panels, biomass and hydro plants generated more electricity than the combined output from power stations fired by coal, oil and gas, a new analysis reveals. During the three months of July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows. This is the first-ever quarter where renewables outpaced fossil fuels since the U.K.’s first public electricity generating station opened in 1882.

  • Energy sourcesThis Technology Replaces Coal Power with Wood Power

    By Georg Mathisen

    A new technology makes it possible to replace coal with eco-friendly wood pellets. As soon as the world stops fueling its power plants with coal, Norwegian technology company Arbaflame is ready to pick up the baton.

  • PerspectiveThe Myth of U.S. Energy Independence Has Gone Up in Smoke

    In response to the massive attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure this weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump has trumpeted that America’s new oil abundance cushions the disruption and boosts strategic stocks, arguing that building more oil pipelines will help protect Americans from oil price shocks. Jason Bordoff writes Foreign Policy that in reality, the attack on Abqaiq, the world’s most critical oil facility, is a stark reminder that the United States is not energy independent, nor can it go it alone when it comes to diplomacy in the world’s most critical oil-producing region.

  • PerspectiveIf U.S. Claims of How the Saudi Oil Attack Went Down Are True, Then the Failure to Prevent It Is a Huge Embarrassment

    It has yet to be definitively established how the massively disruptive attacks this past weekend on a crucial Saudi oil facility took place. The version of events being advanced by U.S. officials, however — that most of the damage was from cruise missiles launched from Iran — raises the embarrassing question of why the U.S. military was unable to do anything about it. the airspace around Iran and Saudi Arabia is some of the best-defended and most intensively monitored on earth, thanks to the decades-long buildup of U.S. assets there. But on Saturday those defenses failed to prevent what U.S. officials have said were at least 17 separate strikes. Based on information made public about the strikes, defense insiders were left wondering how the U.S. military had fared so poorly in one of its primary missions in the region.

  • Energy securityExploring Options for Microreactors in Alaska

    For cities in the most isolated regions of Alaska, keeping the lights on is often challenging and almost always expensive. There’s no good way to string power lines over the vast expanses of wilderness that separate individual towns, so instead of one consolidated grid spanning the entire state, Alaskans get their power from a disconnected mishmash of more than 200 microgrids. This is why experts have been exploring whether microreactors might help alleviate some of Alaska’s energy challenges.