August 25/
September 1, 2008




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Perspective

"Market development programs, particularly in Germany, have resulted in a spectacular boom in the photovoltaics industry which is seeing more new technology adopted over recent years than in the previous 20 years."
-Martin Green, UNSW


News

FUNDING

NSF funding to put brain cells on grid control

The National Science Foundation has awarded $2 million to a project that aims to literally tap brain cells to manage electrical grids. [more]

RESEARCH

Cheap catalyst makes hydrogen from biofuel

Cover a ceramic material with cobalt particles and you get an efficient, durable and inexpensive catalyst for extracting hydrogen from ethanol and other biofuels. [more]

RESEARCH

Copper-based solar cells made easier

Mix copper, indium, gallium and selenium in a solution of the industrial chemical and rocket fuel hydrazine and you have an inexpensive way to make thin-film solar cells... [more]

RESEARCH

Plastic car batteries advance

Hit the right concoction of plastics or plastics and ceramic nanoparticles and you get ferroelectric polymer capacitors that can store more electricity than previous types. [more]

RESEARCH

Balloons give rise to new solar energy

Tie a balloon to a generator and it produces electricity as it rises. If the balloon's hot air comes from sunlight the electricity is clean and relatively inexpensive. [more]

LAB NOTE

NREL posts solar cell efficiency record

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has reported that they have set a record for solar cell efficiency with a mark of 40.8 percent... [more]

FUNDING

DOE taps 12 teams for solar grid funds

The Department of Energy has awarded up to $24 million to 12 corporate and corporate-university research teams to boost photovoltaics... [more]

FUNDING

DOE funds 10 hydrogen storage projects

The Department of Energy has awarded up to $15.3 million to 10 university, government and corporate research teams to develop practical hydrogen storage systems for vehicles... [more]

FUNDING

Australia funds intelligent grid projects

The Australian government's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has awarded 3 million Australian dollars (about US$2.6 million) to five university research teams to develop an intelligent power grid that can support distributed power generation, including renewable energy resources.


Features

Q&As


Special Report
Energy in transition: researchers talk about Obama and our future

The return of science, the enormous task, the Apollo-like effort required, and ideas for remaking the nation's energy infrastructure.

Eric on Energy

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Is Better Place good enough?

There were about 850 million vehicles on the road worldwide in 2006. More then a quarter of them are in the US.... [more]

Features

Q&As

Special Report
Energy in transition: researchers talk about Obama and our future

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News and views from elsewhere

Scientific American
Making a Solar Cell Component without Using Fossil Fuels

Technology Review
More-Efficient Solar Cells

Scientific American
Solar utility: electricity from sunshine on a massive scale in California

New York Times
Enhanced Geothermal: The Next Killer App?

Wired
Flash Creators Reveal App for Saving Money on Energy

Nature
Genomics of cellulosic biofuels

Nature
Four wheels good?

Nature
A task of terawatts

Portfolio
Clean Tech's Financial Aid

Mark Modzelewski, Xconomy
The Solar Hype Cycle: Donít Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
Eight Strikes and Youíre Out




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