• 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.

  • Soon: Fire-Safe, Recyclable Lithium-Metal Batteries

    To power our increasingly electrified society, energy storage technology must evolve and adapt to meet the growing demand. Lithium-ion batteries, already essential to myriad technology, will require dramatic improvements in high-energy density, safety, temperature resilience, and environmental sustainability in order to provide the type of emission-free future that so many envision. Such improvements are here.

  • Declining Water Reserves in California May Cut Hydropower Use in Half This Summer

    As summer approaches, it’s clear that the heavy rains which pummeled California in late 2021 did little to shore up the state’s water reserves, and analysts are warning that the state’s hydroelectric supplies — a cheap source of clean power in California — are once again at risk.

  • Sustainable Solution for Oil, Gas Wastewater

    As demand for new energy sources grows, the wastewater co-produced alongside oil and gas (produced water) shows no signs of slowing down: The current volume of wastewater - the result of water forced underground to fracture rock and release the deposits - is estimated at 250 million barrels per day, compared to 80 million barrels per day of oil. Engineers are developing a new way to clean the produced water for reuse, and it’s already being tested in Pennsylvania, Texas and North Dakota.

  • As the Grid Adds Wind Power, Recovery from Blackouts Must Be Reengineered

    When the power grid goes down, there’s a step-by-step recovery process – a “blackstart” that up to now has depended on power from gas or hydro turbines spinning away inside a power plant. But what if we’re talking about a wind power plant?

  • Hydropower’s Future Is Clouded by Droughts, Floods and Climate Change – It’s Also Essential to the U.S. Electric Grid

    The United States has over 2,100 operational hydroelectric dams, with locations in nearly every state. They play essential roles in their regional power grids. But most were built in the past century under a different climate than they face today. As global temperatures rise and the climate continues to change, competition for water will increase, and the way hydropower supply is managed within regions and across the power grid in the U.S. will have to evolve.

  • AMLO's Lithium Grab and War on Green Energy Will Hurt North America

    Nationalizing Mexico’s lithium reserves and extending state control over electricity and energy will undermine the region’s prosperity and security.

  • Emerging Hydrogen Storage Technology to Increase Energy Resilience

    With the rise in renewable energy as well as increasing uncertainty associated with outages due to power surges and extreme weather events, energy storage plays a key role in ensuring reliable power supply to critical infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, data centers, and telecommunications. New study assesses cost competitiveness of metal-organic framework materials to store hydrogen for large-scale backup power applications.

  • The Future of Nuclear Waste: What’s the Plan and Can It Be Safe?

    The UK is planning to significantly expand its nuclear capability — from approximately 8 gigawatts (GW) today to 24GW by 2050, which would meet around 25% of the forecast UK energy demand — in an effort to decrease its reliance on carbon-based fossil fuels. New reactors will inevitably mean more radioactive waste. Above-ground nuclear waste storage isn’t a feasible long term plan. What are the alternatives?

  • Converting Solar Energy to Electricity on Demand

    Researchers behind an energy system that makes it possible to capture solar energy, store it for up to eighteen years and release it when and where it is needed have now taken the system a step further. After previously demonstrating how the energy can be extracted as heat, they have now succeeded in getting the system to produce electricity, by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator.

  • Europe Cooperates on Gas, as Russia Turns Off Taps to Poland, Bulgaria

    Russia has halted gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria, ramping up the pressure on all EU states to find alternative suppliers. Some are working on cutting Russian gas altogether, others have plans to share with neighbors.