• President Biden Has Banned Some U.S. Investment in China. Here’s What to Know.

    A new executive order restricts U.S. investments in sensitive technologies that Washington fears could help Beijing increase its military power. It is the latest in a raft of policies erecting barriers between the world’s two largest economies, and U.S. allies could soon adopt similar measures. The  Biden administration says the restrictions are directed at protecting national security, not stifling economic competition.

  • Shutting Off Power to Reduce Wildfire Risk on Windy Days Isn’t a Simple Decision – an Energy Expert Explains the Trade-Offs Electric Utilities Face

    Maui County is suing Hawaiian Electric, claiming the utility was negligent for not shutting off power as strong winds hit the island in the hours before the city of Lahaina burned. Electricity is critical infrastructure and a foundational bedrock to many other services, so utilities have to balance the risk of keeping power on with the risks created by shutting power off.

  • International Ransomware Gangs Are Evolving Their Techniques. The Next Generation of Hackers Will Target Weaknesses in Cryptocurrencies

    In reality, not a week goes by without attacks affecting governments, schools, hospitals, businesses and charities, all over the world. These attacks have significant financial and societal costs. Ransomware is now widely acknowledged as a major threat and challenge to modern society, and there is every expectation that criminals will continue to adapt their strategies and cause widespread damage for many years to come.

  • Ms. Nuclear Energy Is Winning Over Nuclear Skeptics

    Kaylee Cunningham recognizes that her training as a Ph.D. student in nuclear science and engineering could be for naught if myths continue to plague the industry. The activist is committed to helping — one TikTok at a time.

  • Thermal Battery Helps Industry Eliminate Fossil Fuels

    The explosion of renewable energy projects around the globe is leading to a saturation problem. As more renewable power contributes to the grid, the value of electricity is plummeting during the times of day when wind and solar hit peak productivity. The problem is limiting renewable energy investments in some of the sunniest and windiest places in the world. Antora Energy is commercializing a thermal battery that lets manufacturers use renewable energy around the clock.

  • Climate Change and U.S. Property Insurance: A Stormy Mix

    Accelerating risks and damage from climate change are spurring private insurers in the United States to limit coverage in a growing number of areas, thus imposing mounting stress on local communities and straining the country’s overall economic health.

  • Is China Engaged in Biodiesel Fraud?

    European biofuel producers have come under significant price pressure as Chinese companies inundate the European second-generation biofuel market with their cheaper products. Shipping advanced biofuels from China to Europe should add about 20% to the price of the fuel, yet Chinese producers are selling it for half the price charged by European producers. The suspicion is that Chinese producers are using palm oil in the production of the fuel, even though palm oil, which will be phased out as a biofuel ingredient by 2030, is already tightly capped in Europe because it is linked to the destruction of rainforests in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • State Pension Fund is Helping a Middle Eastern Firm Export Arizona’s Precious Groundwater

    As rural Arizonans face the prospect of wells running dry, foreign firms are sucking up vast amounts of the state’s groundwater to grow hay for Saudi Arabia and other wealthy nations. The state’s retirement system invested heavily in a private land deal that allowed a foreign company to effectively ship Arizona’s scarce water supply overseas.

  • Training Students to Succeed in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

    Transformational changes are already underway in the manufacturing industry as technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and smart devices from the “fourth industrial revolution” or Industry 4.0., inspire a digital-first approach to engineering. University of Missouri researchers are using a $1 million grant to support the development of an Industry 4.0 lab, training engineering students for the future of digitization in manufacturing.

  • More U.S. Crops to Require Irrigation

    With climate change, irrigating more crops in the United States will be critical to sustaining future yields, as drought conditions are likely to increase due to warmer temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns. Yet less than 20% of the nation’s croplands are equipped for irrigation.

  • As Competition with China Heats Up, Japan Turns to Africa for Critical Minerals

    Demand for such minerals is expected to grow sharply in the coming years. There are, however, supply constraints, as only a limited number of countries produce them. Tokyo has signed agreements with a number of African countries as competition with China for key raw materials and minerals heats up.

  • Refinery in Central Tennessee Could Break Chinese Chokehold on Two Critical Minerals

    A solution to potential shortages of two critical minerals used in making semiconductors and advanced military equipment — exports of which were restricted by China this month — may be lying in some waste storage ponds in central Tennessee.

  • Virtual City Prepares Students for Future of Cybersecurity

    CyberApolis is a virtual city used to train the next generation of cyber professionals to address national security concerns. The “city” includes a bank, hospital, large retailer, water company, power companies, an underground hacker community, an organized crime family and a growing number of smaller retailers.

  • Tech Breakthrough Could Increase States’ Use of Geothermal Power

    Lawmakers in some states have been laying the groundwork to add geothermal power to the electrical grid and pump underground heat into buildings. Now, a technological breakthrough could dramatically expand those ambitions — and perhaps unleash a new wave of policies to tap into geothermal sources. If the technology’s promise is fulfilled, geothermal could power as much as 20% of the U.S. grid.

  • Multi-Billion-Dollar Risk to Economic Activity from Climate Extremes Affecting Ports

    More than $122 billion of economic activity - $81 billion in international trade - is at risk from the impact of extreme climate events, according to new research. Systemic impacts – those risks faced due to knock-on effects within global shipping, trade and supply chains network - will hit ports and economies around the world, even if the local ports are not directly affected by extreme events.