On Sept. 5, 2021, for the first time, a large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet was ramped up to a field strength of 20 tesla, the most powerful magnetic field of its kind ever created on Earth. That successful demonstration helps resolve the greatest uncertainty in the quest to build the world’s first fusion power plant that can produce more power than it consumes, according to the project’s leaders at MIT and startup company Commonwealth Fusion Systems.
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.
Political battles at the most local levels are slowing the pace of decarbonization Property owners in the windy and sunny parts of the U.S. are pushing back against large-scale renewable energy development, opposition that researchers say could slow the transition to a cleaner economy. Photo: Aaron Yoder/WSJ
More than 50 countries around the world have pledged to become net zero. But what does net zero actually mean—and is it achievable?
Small solar panels are to be installed on the roofs of houses in the village of Sabana Real, Dominican Republic. The local project is part of a major plan: By 2025, the country hopes to generate a quarter of its energy from renewable sources.
The energy islands and the wind farms with a combined capacity of 5 GW are expected to be commissioned by 2030.
The North Sea energy island will have an initial capacity of 3 GW which could potentially be further scaled up to 10 GW offshore wind. This will be an artificial island.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: how green bottlenecks threaten the clean energy business, meet the voters that are turning former Labour strongholds Conservative in England (9:45) and, as curtains rise again, the theatre is set to look very different (16:55).
Bioo is generating electricity from the organic matter in soil and creating biological batteries to power agricultural sensors, a growing $1.36 billion global market. Eventually, Bioo envisions a future where biology could help to power our largest cities.
So-called green bonds have become more popular in recent years, and this fast-growing segment of the $128.3 trillion global bond market could grow even more. When an issuer sells a green bond, they’re making a nonbinding commitment to earmark the sale’s proceeds for environmentally friendly projects. That could include renewable energy projects, constructing energy efficient buildings or making investments in clean water or transportation. Green bonds fall under the wider umbrella of sustainable bonds, which include fixed-income instruments whose proceeds are set aside for social or sustainability projects. Big household names such as Apple and PepsiCo are diving into this space. A handful of massive banks and governments around the world are also issuing sustainable bonds, including China, Russia and the European Union. This may be contributing to the space’s rapid growth. A report from Moody’s said new sustainable bond issuance may top $650 billion in 2021. That would represent a 32% jump from 2020.
Miles below the Earth’s surface, there’s enough thermal energy to power all of humanity for the foreseeable future. It’s called geothermal energy, and it’s poised to play an increasingly large role as a source of always available, renewable power. Now, there are a number of startups in the geothermal space, working to figure out how to access this heat in difficult to reach geographies, at a price point that makes sense. And it’s even gotten the attention of oil and gas industry giants, who are interested in greening their portfolios while sticking to their core competencies – extracting energy resources from deep within the Earth.