• Germany Takes Over Rosneft Refineries in Move to Secure Energy Supplies

    Germany says it has taken control of a major oil refinery owned by the German unit of Russia’s Rosneft as a step to bolster energy security for the country amid oil and gas cuts by Moscow in retaliation for Western sanctions against it because of the invasion of Ukraine.

  • The Inflation Reduction Act Is the Start of Reclaiming Critical Mineral Chains

    One important component of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed by Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden on Aug. 16, has been largely overlooked. “Built within the IRA is a commitment to increasing the domestic U.S. supply of critical minerals—lithium, nickel, manganese, and graphite, among others—to provide the materials necessary for a vast expansion in electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, and renewable power production infrastructure,” Morgan Bazilian writes. “The United States needs more wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars. But to make that possible, it will need more mines.”

  • “We’ve Got the Power”: Sandia Technology Test Delivers Electricity to the Grid

    For the first time, Sandia National Laboratories researchers delivered electricity produced by a new power-generating system to the Sandia-Kirtland Air Force Base electrical grid. The system uses heated supercritical carbon dioxide instead of steam to generate electricity and is based on a closed-loop Brayton cycle.

  • Climate Change Puts Availability of Vital Renewable Energy Source at Risk

    Climate change is putting the availability of biomass fuels and technologies – vital alternatives to fossil fuels – at risk, according to new research. The study has found that as temperatures rise, the window of opportunity to maximize the use of biomass from plants, wood and waste as a renewable energy source and an alternative to petrochemicals is closing.

  • Germany — No Exit from the Nuclear Energy Exit

    German Economy Minister Robert Habeck wants to keep two of the three German nuclear power plants on standby for an extra three months as an emergency reserve. That is the right decision.

  • Super-Fast Electric Car Charging, with a Tailor-Made Touch

    Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles, many consumers still hesitate to make the switch. Now, scientists report that they’ve designed superfast charging methods tailored to power different types of electric vehicle batteries in 10 minutes or less without harm.

  • A New Concept for low-Cost Batteries

    Made from inexpensive, abundant materials, an aluminum-sulfur battery could provide low-cost backup storage for renewable energy sources.

  • How the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Works

    The United States is the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. The country’s economy runs on these fossil fuels, but producing and burning them releases greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Russia’s war in Ukraine stoked the debate over whether the United States should boost production to strengthen U.S. and European energy independence or reduce production, improve efficiency, and transition to renewables. The U.S. decision to either continue at the current pace of oil and gas production or curb production to achieve its climate goals will have global consequences.

  • The Facts Behind Hydropower

    Hydropower accounts for nearly 7% of all electricity generated in the United States and provides quick-start capabilities during blackouts and the ability to store power for high-demand periods. ORNL’s HydroSource provides updated information on hydropower facilities and infrastructure, models and visualizations for future development, and analytical tools to better understand how and where hydropower can be implemented throughout the U.S.

  • Germany Mulls U-Turn on Nuclear Phaseout

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has raised the possibility of lengthening the life of the country’s nuclear power stations. Berlin’s decision to get rid of the plants has come under question amid energy security concerns.

  • Reviving the Petroleum Administration for War: A Case for Government-Industry Partnership

    The Russo-Ukrainian War is exposing deep fissures in global energy networks and finally forcing Western capitals to address their energy security. Ryan P. Kellogg and David Brunnert write that “To confront this profound challenge, policy should consider creating a partnership between government and industry for managing energy resources.”

  • Europe’s Energy Choice

    Russia’s war in Ukraine and the disruption of Russian gas exports to Europe has triggered an energy crunch, with price spikes unlike anything seen since 1973. And the situation will get worse before it gets better. Responding to the immediate energy crisis in the right way will help to address the broader climate challenge. Authorities must both buffer the shock of the gas crunch in the short term, and accelerate the transition to clean energy in the long -term.

  • Hurricane-Resilient Wind Turbines -- Inspired by Palm Trees

    Today’s offshore wind turbines can tower more than 490 feet above ground, their spinning blades churning out up to 8 megawatts (MW) each—about enough to power 4,000 homes in the U.S. But with their increasing size comes challenges. To make those turbines more hurricane-resilient, scientists are taking a cue from nature.

  • Retrofitting U.S. Untapped Dams

    More than 92,000 dams populate the United States, but the vast majority - about 89,000 - do not generate electricity through hydropower. Researchers are assessing the viability of retrofitting some of these non-powered dams, which may add up to 12 gigawatts of additional electricity to the power grid.

  • Exploring Explosives for Expanding Geothermal Energy

    Geothermal energy has a lot of promise as a renewable energy source that is not dependent on the sun shining or the wind blowing, but it has some challenges to wide adoption. Sandia researchers test explosives and propellants to create geothermal power sites.