December 1/8, 2008




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Perspective

"There is no leadership at the national level and the misinformation that is spread by the existing energy companies and special interest groups is exceptionally misleading. On the other side, media hype based on press releases or other non-refereed reports can lead to unrealistic expectations."
 
- from Q&A with Robert Birkmire


News

RESEARCH - SOLAR CELLS

Fine-tuned reflector ups solar cell output

Come up with the right reflective backing for solar cells and you can make them 50 percent more efficient. [more]

RESEARCH - SOLAR CELLS

Plasmons promise more solar power

Cut a nanoscopically narrow groove in a metal surface beneath a nanoscopically thin sheet of silicon and you can boost the amount of sunlight the silicon absorbs. [more]

RESEARCH - SOLAR CELLS

Holey silicon promises better solar cells

Fill silicon with regularly-spaced microscopic holes and you can increase the amount of sunlight the silicon absorbs, potentially boosting silicon solar cell performance. [more]

RESEARCH - BATTERIES AND CAPACITORS

Porous silicon boosts lithium batteries

Make a highly porous material of carbon-covered silicon nanocrystals and you have a key component for better lithium-ion batteries. [more]

RESEARCH - WIND

Terrain models reveal prime wind farm turf

Put models of mountainous coastlines in a wind tunnel and you can get a good idea of where to build coastal wind farms without having to take lots of measurements out in the field. [more]

FUNDING - BIOFUELS

Oklahoma lands $15m for biofuels research

The National Science Foundation has awarded $15 million over five years to a multi-institution biofuels research project in Oklahoma. The state is matching the award with $1.1 million per year, bringing the funding to $20.5 million. [more]

LAB NOTE - BIOFUELS

NREL, Petrobras collaborate on biofuels

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is teaming up with Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), the Brazil-based international oil conglomerate, to advance biofuels research and development. [more]


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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Getting back to basics: the audacity of hope

Über VC and clean tech thought leader Vinod Khosla dismissed much of the renewable energy industry as greenwashing during a talk he gave last Thursday at Palo Alto Research Center. [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

New Scientist
Whatever happened to the hydrogen economy?

Xconomy
The Roots of Power: How Voltree is Tapping Tree Energy to Save Forests

Greentech Media
Tapping America's Secret Power Source

New Scientist
Cyborg leaf makes working solar power plant

Earth2Tech
Are Thin-Film Solar Efficiency Standards Unfair?

Greentech Media
Miasolé's Chief Researcher Defects to SoloPower

Eric Wesoff, Greentech Media
Black Swans and Greenwashing

New York Times
Giving Turbines a Boost With Curves

Technology Review
Electricity from Waste Heat

Technology Review
A Weed-Powered Passenger Jet

Wired
Biofuel-Powered Flying Car Cleared for Takeoff

CNet
Better Place plans $1 billion electric car network for Bay Area

New Scientist
Plumbing the oceans could bring limitless clean energy

Michael Kanellos, Greentech Media
Zinc: It’s Hot!

Wired
Biofuel Startup Strives to Meet Obama's Green Ambitions

Michael Kanellos, Greentech Media
Greentech Innovations: A Solar Cell the Size of a Red Blood Cell

Al Gore, New York Times
The Climate for Change

Michael Kanellos, Greentech Media
Greentech Innovations: Storing Wind Power With Sodium Batteries

Green Car Congress
Ohio State University Launches PHEV, EV and Smart Charging Program

New Hampshire Union Leader
Revolutionary auto already on the road

Technology Review
Laser Sensors for Wind Turbines

Wired
Rainforest Fungus Naturally Synthesizes Diesel


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