Energy

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.

House sends Keystone to Obama

The House voted Wednesday to approve legislation authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, setting up the first major veto of Obama’s presidency. Passage fell largely along party lines in a 270-152 vote, with 29 Democrats joining all but one Republican, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), in supporting the pipeline.

Flexible 3D graphene supercapacitors may power portables and wearables

Rice University scientists have advanced their recent development of laser-induced graphene (LIG) by producing and testing stacked, three-dimensional supercapacitors — energy-storage devices that are important for portable, flexible electronics.

U.S. Solar Manufacturing Rising On The Horizon

The latest good news comes from the solar manufacturing sector. In the past nine months, U.S. solar manufacturing has shown unmistakable signs of growth. Strong market demand in the U.S. has attracted some solar manufacturers stateside and as market demand grows, the Energy Department’s investments in this sector have begun to bear fruit.

The U.S. Power Grid is in Need of a Technology Upgrade

The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit kicks off today in Washington DC and will highlight technologies that could fundamentally alter how the nation generates, uses, and stores electricity. In the face of a booming solar industry, stagnating residential demand, and federal policy that seems to choke off a future for new coal power plants, these technologies could answer the question of how today’s utilities can successfully adapt. But which utilities will be early adopters?

O’Malley Calls For Ban On Offshore Drilling Along East Coast

Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley says that last week’s “whiplash decision” by the Administration “to allow oil and gas companies to drill” along the East Coast of the US “is a big mistake.” He calls for a ban on offshore drilling “along our densely populated, economically vibrant and environmentally diverse Eastern Seaboard” and says that “the facts support a ban.”

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