Energy

The Innovation Challenge For Lockheed Martin

There was some earth-shatteringly important news last week, and it had nothing to do with Ebola: Lockheed Martin it had invented a compact fusion reactor that fits on a semi-trailer flatbed. Granted, it may require a decade of work to finish, but the technology could disrupt energy, utilities, even space-travel. The potential profits would be commensurately huge. So why wasn’t it the lead news story for days, and why didn’t the stock price skyrocket?

Gas From Fracking Won’t Slow Climate Change, Scientists Say

A range of scenarios, including the possibility of gas use rising as much as 170 percent by mid-century, would lead to anything from a 2 percent cut to an 11 percent jump in carbon emissions, the study released today in the journal Nature showed. Cheaper gas may not replace coal but rather crowd out clean-energy and boost polluting economic activity, they said.

Venture Capitalists Return to Backing Science Start-Ups

Over all, industrial and energy start-ups attracted $1.24 billion in venture capital financing in the first half of 2014, more than twice as much as in the period a year earlier, according to statistics from the National Venture Capital Association. Still, investment remains well below peaks reached in 2008, when industrial and energy start-ups attracted $4.64 billion.

U.S. Oil Producers May Drill Themselves Into Oblivion

Rather than pulling back in hopes of slowing the amount of supply on the market to try and boost prices, drillers are instead operating at full tilt and pumping oil as fast as they can. Over the past five years, the amount of horizontal rigs deployed in the U.S. has almost quadrupled, from 379 in early 2009 to more than 1,300 today.

U.S. Fuel Economy Hit New Highs With 2013 Models

American cars are using less gas per mile and emitting less carbon dioxide than ever before, according to a government analysis released Wednesday. The average fuel economy of 2013 models is 27.6 miles per gallon for cars and 19.8 miles per gallon for trucks, “both of which are all-time highs,” said the report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

More cars getting stop-start despite driver resistance

Gas-saving stop-start systems, which turn off the engine when the vehicle isn't moving and restart it when the brake pedal is released, will be standard on more cars and trucks than ever before — whether drivers like it or not.

Satellite Data Shows U.S. Methane ‘Hot Spot’ Bigger than Expected

One small “hot spot” in the U.S. Southwest is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States – more than triple the standard ground-based estimate -- according to a new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan.

PCAST Pushes to Commercialize Nanotech

In a report out today on the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology urges the government to "transition its activities toward facilitating commercialization by directing the formulation of specific nanotechnology Grand Challenges."

Science supports fracking

Critics claim, typically without much evidence, that hydraulic fracturing is an environmental bogeyman fouling the air and water. But as the body of science grows, the case against fracking is falling apart.

More efficient fracking means more oil and natural gas

Drillers have honed their fracking techniques since the start of the energy boom and are now getting far more oil and gas from each rig. Five of the six major shale areas in the United States have seen increased production per rig in the last few years, with Eagle Ford leading the efficiency increase in oil drilling and the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania tops for natural gas.

Solar energy could dominate electricity by 2050: IEA

Solar energy could be the top source of electricity by 2050, aided by plummeting costs of the equipment to generate it, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the West's energy watchdog, said on Monday.

U.S.-China Rifts on Hacking, Spying Put Aside for Climate

The threat of climate change is driving China and the U.S. -- frequent rivals and the world’s two largest greenhouse-gas emitters -- to collaborate on dozens of potential clean-energy breakthroughs.

Sales of electrified vehicles stall in U.S.

Sales of electrified vehicles in the United States have slowed dramatically in the past year, causing concern that the emerging technology has lost its charge. A study by online automotive research company Edmunds.com suggests a stall in the market for electrically powered cars, led by a decline in hybrids.

Senate calls hearing on energy tax policy

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing on the “outdated” energy tax code and proposals to reform and improve it. The Sept. 17 hearing will be led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who became chairman of the Finance Committee earlier this year and has committed to comprehensively reforming the entire tax code since he became chairman.

Solar Continues Trumping Fossil Fuel Pricing, With More Innovations To Come

The average solar panel now costs around 75% less than it did just five years ago and continues to fall despite the total decimation of the heavily subsidized US solar manufacturing industry.

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