Energy Sustainability & Efficiency
Renewables now provide 94.5% of Uruguay’s electricity.
Photograph: Mariana Greif Etchebehere/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Uruguay Makes Dramatic Shift to Nearly 95% Electricity from Clean Energy
“Uruguay gets 94.5% of its electricity from renewables. In addition to old hydropower plants, a hefty investment in wind, biomass and solar in recent years has raised the share of these sources in the total energy mix to 55%, compared with a global average of 12%, and about 20% in Europe.”
(The Guardian, Dec. 2015)
A vehicle equipped with a charging receiver drives over copper coil charging strips at the Electreon test site in Israel
Credit: Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times
Electric Roads Could Be a Path to a Driverless Future
Car-charging roads? Israel and Sweden experiment with this new technology. Read more about its potential, pros and cons.
(The New York Times, Oct. 2019)
How Supercapacitors Could Make Batteries a Thing of the Past
While electric vehicles offer a cleaner commute than fossil fuel burning cars, the creation and disposal of batteries can be a challenge, especially when implemented on a large scale. What solutions might be out there?
(YouTube channel “Seeker” ~4 min. Video, Aug. 2018)
Offshore wind turbines at Barrow Offshore Wind. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Microgrids and the blockchain are powering our energy future
“There’s a lot of buzz around distributed ledgers at the moment, but those championing their use in the energy sector say they are an ideal solution to a genuine problem. That is, the shared nature of energy resources and the difficulty of tracking the large volume of transactions – from energy supply and demand, to actual sales.”
Read the full story: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/microgrids-wired-energy
(Wired, Oct. 2017)
There aren't enough hydrogen fuel cell cars in Tokyo to make fueling stations like this one profitable, so the Japanese government subsidizes them. Credit: Hiroo Saso, NPR
Japan Is Betting Big on the Future of Hydrogen Cars
“Japan isn't sure that the battery-powered electric car is the only future, and it's betting big on something it says makes more sense in big cities: hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”
(NPR, Mar. 2019)
HKU Engineering Team invents novel Direct Thermal Charging Cell for converting low-grade waste heat to usable electricity.
University of Hong Kong.
This Device Turns Low-Grade Waste Heat Into Electricity
“Low-grade heat is produced on a massive scale around the world by manufacturing, computing, and many other industries—along with everyday items like air conditioners and household ovens... If we can capture our wasted energy before it actually goes to waste, isn’t that better?”
(Popular Mechanics, Nov. 2019)
What is the Smart Grid?
Learn about the U.S. Department of Energy’s ten year initiative to modernize the national power grid for better resiliency and efficiency, in a series of video explainers: https://www.smartgrid.gov/the_smart_grid/
(US Department of Energy)