Better batteries mean better products. They give us longer-lasting smartphones, anxiety-free electric transport, and potentially, more efficient energy storage for large-scale buildings like data centers. But battery tech is frustratingly slow to advance, due to both the chemical processes involved and the challenges that exist around commercializing new battery designs.
In addition, unlike traditional batteries, the electrolyte battery material does not have pinholes (tiny holes), which can lead to short-circuiting the battery, giving rise to fires in mobile devices, such as cellphones and laptops. The engineers are still perfecting the technique, but they have applied for patent protection on the proof-of-concept work, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and in part by the National Science Foundation.
Running late for work or just miss that bus? You could have a good excuse: Your electric clock might be running a bit cuckoo. Because of a change in federal energy regulations, some scientists say your trusty, older plug-in clock may be losing or gaining a few ticks over time.
California will soon become the first state to require all new homes be built with solar panels. The California Energy Commission voted unanimously, 5-0, Wednesday to change a state building code that would require all new homes be equipped with the renewable energy technology.
How much is cyber security worth to the U.S. energy industry? Not a whole lot apparently. Two prominent security consultant firms estimate that energy companies, ranging from drillers to pipeline operators to utilities, invest less than 0.2 percent of their revenue in cyber security. For context, that’s at least a third less than the corresponding figure for banks and other financial institutions, according to the consultants, Precision Analytics LLC and the CAP Group.
Buildings are the single largest energy-consuming sector in the U.S. economy, representing approximately 75% of the nation’s electricity use and 40% of its total energy demand, resulting in Americans spending nearly $400 billion each year to power homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other commercial and residential buildings.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a notice Thursday that it is starting the “scoping” process for an environmental review to examine the impact of leasing drilling rights to companies in ANWR’s 1.6 million-acre coastal plain.
Under the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), DOE will fund about 70 projects to advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technologies, as well as facilitate the secure integration of those technologies into the nation’s electricity grid. Funding will also support efforts that prepare the workforce for the solar industry’s future needs.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) cannot carry out its mission of strengthening the nation’s security through cutting-edge science, technology and engineering without a world-class workforce. As part of the network of National Labs, we also have a critical role in ensuring American competitiveness by helping to develop new generations of science and engineering leaders.
Within the Department of Energy, every program will see at least a 10 percent increase in their budget. And advanced computing and fusion power research--a long-promised and oft-overhyped form of nuclear energy--get an extra raise. At this moment, 35 countries are collaborating on ITER, an experimental magnetic fusion device in southern France, and with this bill the US increased its investment to $122 million.