Tag Archives: Future of Energy

Science: Future Of Energy, Amazon Rainforest, CRISPR

The war in Ukraine has sparked an energy crisis, as European countries attempt to cut ties with Russia. The team discusses what this means for the future of energy production and how it may speed up our pivot to renewable energy. They also explore the growing concerns at various nuclear sites in Ukraine, as some have been seized by the Russians, while others have been damaged during the conflict.

For the first time a virgin birth has taken place in a mammal – a female mouse has given birth without any input from a male. The team explains how CRISPR gene editing has been used to create embryos from unfertilised eggs.

As the Amazon rainforest becomes less resilient to drought, there are fears it may be passing a tipping point that could turn the whole system from forest into savannah. Earth system scientist Tim Lenton of the University of Exeter explains the devastating global impact this would have.

Taking a much-needed trip off the planet, the team discusses two stories from Mars, one from NASA‚Äôs Perseverance rover and another from China‚Äôs Zhurong rover. We also present an audio space-quiz you can take part in! Thanks to NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/CNRS/ISAE-Supa√©ro for the audio clips. 

And legendary cosmologist Martin Rees shares his thoughts on the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence in the universe and the fascinating concept of ‚Äėsecular‚Äô intelligent design.

On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Matt Sparkes, Adam Vaughan and Richard Webb. To read about these stories and much more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.

Analysis: Is Hydrogen The Fuel Of The Future?

It’s been hailed as fuel of the future. Hydrogen is clean, flexible and energy efficient. But in practice there are huge hurdles to overcome before widespread adoption can be achieved.

Video timeline: 00:00 How hydrogen fuel is generated. 02:04 How hydrogen fuel could be used. 02:46 Why hydrogen fuel hasn’t taken off in the past. 03:40 Is hydrogen fuel safe? 04:31 Hydrogen’s advantage over batteries. 05:00 How sustainable is hydrogen fuel? 06:13 Why the hype about hydrogen may be different this time.

Future Of Energy: ‘Tiny Nuclear Reactors’ (Video)

Nuclear energy accounts for nearly 20% of electricity generated in the US, more than wind, solar and hydro combined. But now, new nuclear reactor designs could bring far more widespread use and public acceptance of this powerful form of energy.

X-energy is an American private nuclear reactor and fuel design engineering company. It is developing a Generation IV high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor design.

Energy Trends: Beaming Solar Power, Brine, Wind & Living Solar Cells (WSJ)

From a Wall Street Journal online article (Feb 13, 2020):

Beaming Solar Power Wall Street Journal
Beaming Solar Power – Wall Street Journal

To meet the surge in demand projected by 2050, innovative engineers, utility operators and grid architects are planning for a future that blurs the distinctions between energy consumers and producers. Homeowners, businesses and other traditional utility customers are beginning to take on a new role as energy producers, through small-scale solar arrays, wind turbines and other new affordable technologies.

To coordinate so many different power sources and demands, the future power grid will depend on artificial intelligence, automated two-way communications and computer control systems to continuously collect and synthesize data from millions of smart sensors.

  • Beaming Solar Power – Scientists and engineers are working on spacecraft to capture sunlight and transform it into electricity that is wirelessly beamed to Earth. A prototype from the California Institute of Technology transmits power in a steerable beam. Japan‚Äôs space agency JAXA demonstrated a unit that converted 1.8 kilowatts of electricity into microwaves and then beamed it about 100 yards. China is planning an orbital solar power station.
  • Living Solar Cells – Researchers are exploring how to exploit the ability of many microorganisms to generate electric current through photosynthesis. Solar cells using microbes would be cleaner and cheaper than those based on conventional semiconductors. So far, the current is only about enough to drive a small fan. By using two kinds of microbes instead of one, scientists in China recently found a way to boost the electrical energy.
  • The Power of Brine – Scientists in Norway, the Netherlands, Japan and the U.S. are generating electricity by harnessing the difference in salt concentration between seawater and freshwater. In one experiment, a semipermeable membrane allows seawater ions to pass into the fresh water. The movement of the ions generates an electric current.

Read full article