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Excitons Observed in Action for the First Time

April 19, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Advancements

A quasiparticle called an exciton — responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits — has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within materials has never been directly observed.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Gulf Coast Crude Oil Inventories Reach Record Level

April 18, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Gulf Coast Oil Inventories

Crude oil inventories on the U.S. Gulf Coast reached 207.2 million barrels on April 11, a record high. The levels are the result of the continuing strong crude oil production growth, the opening of TransCanada's Marketlink Pipeline, and a drop in crude oil inputs at USGC refineries as a result of seasonal maintenance.[read more]

Floating Nuclear Plants Could Ride Out Tsunamis

April 17, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Floating Nuclear Plants

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores due to a shutdown of all power, that caused the harm.[read more]

ABCs of LNG

April 16, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles
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The international reaction to Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula has put a spotlight on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which was already under debate in the US as a mechanism for exporting increasingly abundant shale gas. Meanwhile, LNG is emerging as a fuel in its own right.[read more]

A Molecular Approach to Solar Energy

April 15, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Innovation

 

It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine.Now a team at MIT and Harvard University has come up with an ingenious workaround, a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store energy in chemical form.[read more]

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Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

April 15, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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Renewables and Nuclear Cooperation

Nuclear power and variable renewable energy sources like wind and solar power “don’t play well together.” The more I think about this, however, the more I’m convinced that the accepted wisdom that renewables and nuclear mix like oil and water is true only up to a point.[read more]

Shipping Oil by Rail: A Modern-Day Problem of Social Cost

April 15, 2014 by Meredith Fowlie
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Oil by Rail Risk

While environmental groups and other stakeholders have been working hard to delay, if not completely derail, major pipeline projects like Keystone, oil companies have also been working hard to find alternative ways to get their crude oil to market.[read more]

Lower Prices Pull Down Natural Gas Reserves in 2012

April 13, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Natural Gas Reserves

Lower natural gas prices drove down U.S. proved reserves in 2012, despite notable gains in the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shale gas plays. The decline stopped a 14-year trend of consecutive increases in natural gas reserves, according to newly published estimates.[read more]

Energy With Benefits

April 9, 2014 by Jim Baird
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Energy Benefits

The world needs a new energy system that will bolster the environment rather than making it uninhabitable to most living things. Before designing and building such a system, it behooves us to consider what is wrong with what we have and how we can improve on that.[read more]

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How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

April 8, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Solar Energy Farms and Space Needs

In the last few months we have seen both the world's largest solar bridge and the world's largest solar farm open. The bridge was opened in London, a city so famous for its fog that they named a fashion label after it. The farm was built in the middle of the Californian desert.[read more]

Environmental Groups Gear Up to Stop US LNG Exports

April 8, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles
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Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and 350.org wrote to President Obama, urging him to require a Keystone-style environmental review--presumably entailing similar delays--for the proposed Cove Point, Maryland liquefied natural gas export terminal.[read more]

How Electrodes Charge and Discharge

April 4, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
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The electrochemical reactions inside the porous electrodes of batteries and fuel cells have been described by theorists, but never measured directly. Now, a team at MIT has figured out a way to measure the fundamental charge transfer rate — finding some significant surprises.[read more]

Tesla's $5B Giga Battery Factory and Deep Politics in AZ, TX, NV, and NM

April 3, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
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Tesla Battery Factory Locations

The as yet unnamed location of Elon Musk's new and outrageously ambitious $5 billion Tesla battery factory has been narrowed down to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, or Nevada for quite a while now. Construction on the project potentially starts this year.[read more]

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For All the Calls to 'Rescue' Ukraine with LNG Exports, US Should Steady the Course on Terminal Applications

March 31, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Ukraine LNG Rescue

The annexation of Crimea by Russia is strengthening the case for U.S. companies exporting liquefied natural gas to beef up Ukraine’s, and U.S. allies’, energy security. But it will take time before significant new quantities of LNG start flowing from the U.S. terminals awaiting approvals.[read more]

Coal Supplies at Electric Power Plants Drawn Down in Cold Weather

March 30, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Coal Supply Draw Down

The average supply of coal fuel held in reserve at electric power generators in December 2013 dropped below sixty days worth of burn (a function of both inventory levels and anticipated consumption) for the first time since summer 2011.[read more]