• Predicting, Managing EV Charging Growth to Keep Electricity Grids Reliable, Affordable

    With a growing fleet of EVs on the road, grid planners depend on accurate estimates of charging patterns to calculate electricity demand. A team of researchers at Stanford University assembled a scalable probabilistic model for charging demand that can be applied to a flexible array of populations and account for a wide range of factors.

  • Targeted demand response reduces price volatility of electric grid

    To reduce the energy load during supply constraints on the Texas power grid, it is not necessary to reduce the energy load in high population centers such as Houston and Dallas. Instead, when supply is strained, focusing on a few strategic locations across the state outside of those high-population areas is much more cost-effective and can have a greater impact on the price volatility of the grid.

  • Groundwater Levels Fall Across Western and Central Kansas

    Average groundwater levels across western and central Kansas fell by more than a foot in 2021, with the greatest declines in the southwest portion of the state. “The entire state is currently in some stage of drought and even with recent snowfalls, I bet it remains that way,” one expert said.

  • Green Rare-Earth Recycling Goes Commercial

    Rare earths are essential ingredients in the magnets that power many technologies people rely on today, such as cell phones, computers, electric vehicles, and wind turbines. Researchers have  developed a novel way to extract rare earth elements (rare earths) from the high-powered magnets in electronic waste (e-waste).

  • Ultrafast Devices to Protecting the Grid from EMPs

    Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny, electronic device that can shunt excess electricity within a few billionths of a second while operating at a record-breaking 6,400 volts — a significant step towards protecting the nation’s electric grid from an electromagnetic pulse.

  • Could Nuclear Power Cut Europe’s Dependence on Russian Energy?

    The war in Ukraine has set off a rush in Europe to find alternatives to Russian oil and gas. Some are calling for an expansion of nuclear power.

  • Texas Cold Snap Highlights Need for Improved Power Systems

    The greatest demand for electricity in Texas is traditionally during the hottest days of the year, when air conditioners turn on full blast to beat the heat. But in February 2021, an unusually long spell of cold weather took the region by surprise. With extreme weather events rising in frequency, the need for a prepared modern energy grid grows.

  • Texas Warns Firms They Could Lose State Contracts for Divesting from Fossil Fuels

    A new law prohibits the state from contracting with or investing in companies that divest from oil, natural gas and coal companies.

  • As Sea Levels Rise, Coastal Megacities Will Need More Than Flood Barriers

    Sea level rise is expected to worsen in the next few decades, especially for many of the world’s largest cities in lower and middle income countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. These cities are already improving their infrastructure. But most of the focus remains on big engineering solutions (like flood walls and embankments) rather than a more holistic plans.

  • Electric Truck Hydropower: Flexible Solution to Hydropower in Mountainous Regions

    Mountain regions have a large potential for hydropower that cannot be harnessed effectively by conventional technologies. Researchers developed an innovative hydropower technology based on electric trucks that could provide a flexible and clean solution for electricity generation in mountainous regions.

  • Armored Transformer Barrier Protects Electric Power Grid

    A 2013 sniper attack on an electric power substation in Northern California, which caused more than $15 million in damages and destroyed 17 transformers, led researchers to develop a novel protective solution: the Armored Transformer Barrier system.

  • What Are the Risks at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant?

    Threat of a nuclear catastrophe is low. But experts fear for safety of workers who have been unable to rotate off shift. Communications with the site are down and electricity has reportedly been lost.

  • Russian Attack on, Takeover of Ukraine Plant Ramps Up Nuclear Threat

    Russia’s attack last Friday on a nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine has heightened concerns of a nuclear catastrophe in the region, and not only as a result of unintended leaks or possible future attacks on Ukraine’s three remaining nuclear plants. Statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have further deepened worries that Russia may seek to turn material in captured reactors into “dirty bombs.”

  • Climate Change Contributor to 2017 Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

    A one-two punch of precipitation resulted in damage to Oroville Dam’s main and emergency spillways pushing the second largest dam in California into a crisis in February 2017. Researchers say that they have identified the fingerprint of climate change in the events that triggered the incident. Issues with the dam’s spillways led to the evacuation of 188,000 people.

  • The Dangers Following Russia’s Attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

    Following recent news of Russian shelling of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which is the largest in Europe, there is great concern over the potential for a Chernobyl-esque release of radioactive material. Several security personnel at the plant were injured by the attack.