NASA’s Crazy 18-Engine Electric Concept Plane Could Be the Future of Flying

NASA is testing an experimental 31-foot aircraft wing with 18 electric motors placed along the leading edge. The wing is made of carbon composite, while the electric engines are powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries. NASA says the unusual setup, called Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech), could result in more energy-efficient and greener aircraft.

Solar could meet California energy demand three to five times over

California has about 6.7 million acres (27, 286 square kilometers) of land that is compatible for photovoltaic solar construction and about 1.6 million acres (6,274 square kilometers) compatible for concentrating solar power. There is also an additional 13.8 million acres (55,733 square kilometers) that is potentially compatible for photovoltaic solar energy development with minimal environmental impact and 6.7 million acres (27,215 square kilometers) also potentially compatible for concentrating solar power development.

Energy Department Projects U.S. Could Get To 35 Percent Wind Power By 2050

The amount of wind power in the U.S. is already on the uptick, with wind representing 30 percent of newly installed electricity-generating capacity in the period from 2009 to 2013. In the "Wind Vision" report, the Department of Energy projects that the country could do even more going forward by installing up to 11 gigawatts of new wind-generating capacity each year between now and the middle of the century. That would bring the U.S. to 400 total gigawatts of such capacity installed across the country -- enough power for 100 million homes, according to the Energy Department's estimates.

Senate fails to override Obama's veto of Keystone XL approval

The U.S. Senate failed on Wednesday to override President Obama's veto of legislation approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the controversial project to await an administration decision on whether to permit or deny it. Republican Senator John Hoeven said pipeline backers will try again to force Obama's hand, by attaching Keystone approval to another bill this year.

The U.S. Will Spend $5 Billion On Energy Research In 2015 – Where Is It Going?

Approximately 10 percent is designated for fossil fuels. Of that roughly $500 million allocation very little actually goes to oil and gas research – only 5 percent, or $25 million. Instead, more than 70 percent is appropriated to coal and carbon sequestration research. The DOE’s clean coal R&D is focused on increasing overall system efficiencies, developing carbon utilization and storage technologies for existing and new facilities, as well as reducing the capital cost of all of the above.

Some Dems prepared to override Obama's veto

Some Senate Democrats are already saying they will vote to override President Obama's veto of legislation authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Bob Casey (Pa.) will vote to override Obama’s veto, according to aides, and it’s possible that several other Democrats will follow suit. Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said the "Senate will soon vote on an override" of the veto, with the action coming "not later than March the 3rd."

Apple Is Forming an Auto Team

Many of Apple’s newer employees have come from companies that specialize in battery and automotive technologies. Apple has hired many engineers from A123 Systems, Tesla and Toyota to work on advanced battery technologies. Apple’s hiring spree of automotive experts more recently accelerated as the company’s plans came into sharper focus, according to a lawsuit filed this month in Massachusetts federal court.

President’s Budget Would Increase Funding for Renewable Technologies But Defund Fossil Energy Research

On February 11, 2015, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) FY 2016 Budget request to examine DOE’s funding priorities, major changes, energy-related rulemakings, priority science and research, loans and grants, and management reforms. The President’s Budget (PB) proposed $29.9B for DOE for FY 2016, requesting an overall 9.2 percent increase, $2.52B above the FY 2015 enacted level.

New paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries could boost electric vehicle range

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

Keystone bill to arrive at White House Tuesday

Republican leaders plan on Tuesday to send President Obama legislation that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. GOP leaders have pushed Obama to reconsider his veto threat, arguing Keystone will create thousands of jobs and help the nation move toward energy independence. The White House has repeatedly said the president will veto the bill, arguing it circumvents the ongoing review by the State Department.

Old Battery Type Gets an Energy Boost

BASF scientists are exploring the possibilities of an older type of battery, nickel-metal hydride, now used in hybrids. They recently doubled the amount of energy that these batteries can store, making them comparable to lithium-ion batteries. And they have a plan to improve them far more, potentially increasing energy storage by an additional eight times.

There’s a new renaissance emerging for energy innovation

A renaissance of creativity around developing innovations for energy has emerged in the wake of Silicon Valley’s cleantech bust in the U.S. It’s taken several years to materialize. Bolstered by a series of energy success stories, this newfound creativity has been propped up by increasingly low costs of clean energy technologies and energy storage, and has floated on a change in the political winds.

How far from the death of the internal combustion engine?

The world has witnessed game changers in the vehicle manufacturing sector over the past few decades. The internal combustion engine was one of the tipping points against steam engines and likewise, the lithium ion (Li-ion) battery is among multiple tipping points against the combustion engine. The internal combustion engine is probably one of the most perfected and publicly accepted technologies yet.

GM confirms it will build Bolt electric car

General Motors will produce an electric vehicle based on the Chevrolet Bolt concept that will be sold in all 50 states and will be built at the Orion (Mich.) Assembly plant, Alan Batey, president of GM North America, announced Thursday in the keynote speech to open the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

World's largest solar plant opens in California desert

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell joined state officials on Monday to open the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight solar project in the town of Desert Center, Calif., near Joshua Tree National Park. Built by First Solar, the project generates enough electricity to power 160,000 average California homes.


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