• 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.

  • AI Cyber Challenge Aims to Secure Nation’s Most Critical Software

    In an increasingly interconnected world, software undergirds everything from financial systems to public utilities. As software enables modern life and drives productivity, it also creates an expanding attack surface for malicious actors. This surface includes critical infrastructure, which is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks given the lack of tools capable of securing systems at scale. New competition challenges the nation’s top AI and cybersecurity talent to automatically find and fix software vulnerabilities, defend critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

  • 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.

  • Climate-Fueled Wildfires Lead to Rethink on Fire Tactics

    Climate change is making wildfires more frequent and more destructive, and long-time firefighting strategies are no longer working. Scientists are calling for a radical rethink of how we fight wildfires.

  • New Tidal Energy Project for Carbon Emission Reduction and Energy Security

    New £7 million project aims to deliver scalable, affordable and sustainable tidal stream energy. Besides boosting energy security, this could help enable tidal stream energy make a meaningful contribution to achieving U.K. Net Zero goals.

  • Feds Ease Up on Colorado River Restrictions — for Now

    The water shortage crisis on the Colorado River is improving, but it’s far from over. The water levels in the river’s two main reservoirs have begun to stabilize, lessening the need for states in the Southwest to cut their water usage. This year’s wet winter helped save the river from collapse, but a reckoning is on the horizon.

  • 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.

  • NREL Analysis Reveals Benefits of Hydropower for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

    Closed-loop pumped storage hydropower systems rank as having the lowest potential to add to the problem of global warming for energy storage when accounting for the full impacts of materials and construction, according to new analysis. These systems rely on water flowing between two reservoirs to generate and store power.

  • How the Caribbean Is Building Climate Resilience

    Small island nations in the Caribbean are among the countries in the world most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and stronger and more frequent storms. Governments in the region are taking steps to combat it, but climate finance remains a challenge as Caribbean nations struggle with heavy debt burdens, despite receiving some regional and international support. 

  • We Could Soon Be Getting Energy from Solar Power Harvested in Space

    The idea of space-based solar power (SBSP) – using satellites to collect energy from the sun and “beam” it to collection points on Earth – has been around since at least the late 1960s. Despite its huge potential, the concept has not gained sufficient traction due to cost and technological hurdles. space-based solar power is technologically feasible, but to be economically viable, it requires large-scale engineering, and therefore long-term and decisive commitment from governments and space agencies.

  • Heat, Drought, Population Growth Stress Aquifers Which Supply Water to Millions of Texans

    Diminishing springs and aquifers due to heat, drought and high for demand water highlight the urgency for Central Texas conservation districts to prioritize climate-focused management, potentially involving reduced pumping for sustainability.

  • 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.

  • FEMA Maps Said They Weren’t in a Flood Zone. Then Came the Rain.

    The most common reference for flood risk are the flood insurance rate maps, also known as 100-year floodplain maps, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, produces. They designate so-called special flood hazard areas that have a roughly 1 percent chance of inundation in any given year. Properties within those zones are subject to more stringent building codes and regulations that, among other things, require anyone with a government-backed mortgage to carry flood insurance. Flaws in federal flood maps leave millions unprepared. Some are trying to fix that.

  • Major Update to NIST’s Widely Used Cybersecurity Framework

    The world’s leading cybersecurity guidance is getting its first complete makeover since its release nearly a decade ago. NIST has revised the framework to help benefit all sectors, not just critical infrastructure.

  • DHS: Additional $374.9 Million in Funding to Boost State, Local Cybersecurity

    State and local governments face increasingly sophisticated cyber threats to their critical infrastructure and public safety. On Monday, DHS announced the availability of $374.9 million in grant funding for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP).