innovation


Untwisting Supercoiled Fibers Produces Decreased Surface Temperatures
Credit: University of Texas at Dallas

The Power of Energy Innovation (Have Fishing Line, Will Cool?)

, Senior energy analyst

“Twistocaloric” cooling technology, spelled out in Science, is based on an amazingly simple concept: the property of materials—think rubber bands, for example—to heat up when stretched, and cool down when released. These innovations (and similar recent work on elastocaloric cooling) are aimed straight at the heart of a major consumer of electricity: Cooling for refrigeration and air conditioning account for a fifth of global electricity demand in buildings, and are poised for lots of growth. Any successful efficiency improvements in that sector could be huge, and with twistocaloric cooling we’re talking about systems potentially 20% more efficient than our current (vapor-compression) technology. Read more >

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Offshore Wind in the US: Scale, Jobs and Innovation

, energy analyst

When I visited Block Island’s offshore wind farm 2 years ago I knew I was seeing history in the making. This project, the first one in operation in the US, has 5 powerful wind turbines and an installed capacity of 30 megawatts (MW). I just attended the US Offshore Wind 2019 conference and my mind is blown with the progress this industry is experiencing. Let me share 3 exciting facts that I learned at the conference. Read more >

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A Welcome Voice of Corporate Leadership

, former president

A theme that I have been writing and speaking about a lot recently is the obligation of industry CEOs to lead their companies in reducing heat-trapping emissions and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy – not only because of the essential societal benefits but because it’s good for business. Read more >

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Will Clean Energy Research and Development Be Sequestered?

, Senior energy analyst

In his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about the role research and development (R&D) has played to advance our society and enhance our quality of life. I think that most people would agree that keeping the lights on in a clean and safe manner is a core “quality of life” issue for all Americans. Yet, unless Congress reaches a budget deal by the end of the month, mandatory across-the-board funding cuts known as the sequester will kick in March 1. Given the important role R&D has played in advancing clean energy, I thought I’d lay out what’s at stake. Read more >

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Investment in RD&D: Move It or Lose It California!

, Senior energy analyst

In an earlier post, I wrote about the California Legislature’s failure this fall to reauthorize funding for the state’s clean energy research, development, and deployment (RD&D) program. On an encouraging note, the California Public Utilities Commission recently issued a proposed decision to approve a year’s worth of bridge funding to continue the program, allowing the Legislature to take another crack at the issue in 2012.  Read more >

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