November 17/24, 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

POLICY - BIOFUELS

Net energy under fire

Rating biofuels by net energy -- the amount of energy a fuel or energy technology produces minus the energy it consumes -- is questionable, according to researchers who say that a broader set of metrics is needed to assess the sustainability of new energy technologies. [more]

RESEARCH - HYDROGEN

Inkjet printer advances solar hydrogen

Run metal oxides through the process pharmaceutical companies use to make drugs and you could come up with a breakthrough for generating hydrogen from water using sunlight. [more]

RESEARCH - SOLAR CELLS

Rubber loosens up silicon

Embed silicon wires in rubber and you've got a key solar cell component that's flexible and highly efficient. [more]

FUNDING - HYDROGEN

Biomass hydrogen project funded

The US Department of Energy has awarded $1,065,000 to David Wu of the University of Rochester to continue his research on using bacteria to generate hydrogen and ethanol from agricultural and forestry waste. [more]

LAB NOTE

NREL taps Iberdrola to measure sunshine

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has teamed with Iberdrola Renewables to measure the strength and consistency of sunlight. [more]

LAB NOTE - BIOFUELS

Center to test biofuels in engines

Queensland University of Technology has launched the Biofuel Engine Research Facility, a research center for testing transportation biofuels and engine designs. The center will test the emissions, efficiency and engine performance of biofuels and will help develop engines designed to run on biofuels.

RESEARCH - HYDROGEN

Carbon promises cheap solar hydrogen

Mix carbon and nitrogen the right way and you have an inexpensive catalyst for extracting hydrogen from water in sunlight. [more]

RESEARCH - SOLAR CELLS

Coating passes more light to solar cells

Stack layers of angled nanorods on a solar cell and you can get more light into it and therefore more electricity out of it. [more]

RESEARCH - ENERGY SCAVENGING

Wire generates electricity

Attach the ends of the right kind of wire to electrodes and you can generate electricity from motion. [more]

RESEARCH - SOLAR CELLS

Solar cells go micro

Tap chipmaking techniques to make solar cells and you've got cells that are small enough to power tiny electronic devices. [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

Energy research should get a huge boost in the next few years under the Obama administration, whether or not economic and political factors prevent him from keeping his campaign promise of $150 billion over 10 years for alternative energy research, development and deployment. [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

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

Michael Kanellos, Greentech Media
Green tech Innovations: LED Lights to Drop by 50 Percent or More Next Year?

Photon International
Fraunhofer beats European record with 39.7-percent cell

CNET
Cool Earth Solar eyes rural power with balloons

Wall Street Journal
Boosting Clean Energy: Research is Nice, Cap-and-Trade is Nicer

Wired
Tapping the Vortex for Green Energy

Michael Kanellos, Greentech Media
Greentech Innovations: Why Fuel Cells Finally Make Sense

Technology Review
Fuel-Cell Power-Up

Scientific American
Tilting at Windmills: Is Small-Scale Turbine Power Viable--Or Just an Illusion?

New Scientist
World can halt fossil fuel use by 2090


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