As the founder of the Bay Area networking group, Women In Cleantech & Sustainability, I am keenly interested in learning about who the media thinks as being the most influential women in the field. However, it feels like every top ten list for women in Cleantech always lists the same lovely ladies. This is not […]
The continuing quest for advanced biofuels based off of synthetic biology has made an important advance with researchers at the Joint BioENergy Institute (JBEI) — based at the Lawrence Livermore Lab — announcing that they have bio-engineered a combination of two microbes, a yeast and a bacteria, which working together can produce a viable bio-sourced drop-in replacement for D2 diesel fuel.
This post suggests that export markets exist for U.S. manufactured advanced batteries, in developing countries that have electric grids that are less developed and more prone to failure than the grids of advanced economies.
Daunted by high up-front costs, U.S. homeowners continue to shy away from residential solar power systems, even as utility-scale solar projects are taking off. But with do-it-yourself kits and other innovative installation approaches now on the market, residential solar is having modest growth.
Examines the case for government leadership in promoting the development of distributed grid connected energy storage, arguing that government leadership is necessary in order to kick start this very important component of the robust electric energy infrastructure that is in our nations best interest. The author also argues that doing so will bring down electric vehicle battery costs and help promote EV adoption rates, which are inhibited by high unit costs driven by battery prices.
Makes the case for coupling hydrogen production with wind farms in order to deliver more dispatchable power; lessen the need for transmission capacity; as well as other important bottom line benefits.
In discussions on the merits of distributed solar power too little focus has been given to the many important benefits that result from increasing the use of distributed solar power. These benefits accrue to both the utilities and presumably their rate payers as well and to society (and the tax payers) at large. This post summarizes a recent paper “Solar Power Generation in the US: Too expensive, or a bargain?” that attempts to give these benefits a tangible quantified value in order that the debate on the merits of solar power also begin to include this side of the cost / benefit analysis. A side that is all too often glossed over and largely overlooked.
This post asks the provocative question whether solar PV is really market ready yet. It goes on to suggest that it might be counter-productive for the long term growth of the sector to push solar photovoltaic adoption rates through the use of government subsidies, making the point that this may in fact be slowing down the adoption of needed innovation and process improvement that should ultimately make renewable energy more affordable.
Describes a new efficiency milestone that has been achieved by quantum dot solar cells, a kind of solar PV that uses the unique properties of quantum dots to capture photons and convert their energy into an electric current. This form of solar PV has languished for some time due to the low efficiencies that have been so far achieved. By finding a way to produce a double layer cell the research team at the University of Toronto has been able to achieve significantly higher overall efficiencies than has previously been possible using quantum dot technology. Quantum dot technology holds the promise of being able to ultimately produce very inexpensive solar cells, if the low efficiency problem can be overcome.