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Articles related to Energy

Browse: Solar cell efficiency milestone achieved
Misplaced fear of radiation and accidents is impacting our response to climate d
Feature: The High Price of Obsolete Science
The anti-nuclear movement co-opted the environment movement on the strength of theories about DNA, radiation and cancer that have long been proven false.
Feature: Off the Grid
Australians have taken to solar energy, but much of the electricity they generate cannot be stored and is returned back to the grid. However, commercial residential battery systems are now available, with new technologies on the horizon.
Credit: Kletr/Adobe
Feature: A Renewable Solution to the Problem of Peak Power
Despite the rapid uptake of solar and wind energy worldwide, fossil fuels are still required when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. However, a cheap and proven storage option, in combination with wind and solar energy, could replace the need for fossil fuels within 15 years.
Browse: How Urban Sea Snakes Lost Their Stripes Browse: Fern’s Fractals Energise Self-Powering Devices
Browse: A Buddhist Approach to Solar Cell Design Browse: Batteries that Store Protons
A step has been taken towards high efficiency batteries with the creation of a system that holds protons within a metal lattice.
Feature: Electric Fish Short-Circuit Blackouts
Electric fish have inspired a new technology that can wirelessly detect where faults in the energy grid are likely to occur before they lead to blackouts.
Browse: Solar Cells Ditch Doping
Feature: Speed Bumps Slow Electric Vehicles
How much can electric vehicles reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, and what are the factors limiting the transition from Australia’s fleet of conventional combustion engines?
Browse: 3D Layering Puts Solar on Track
Solar panels structured like a chessboard, where the white squares are slightly raised compared with the black squares, could reduce the cost of tracking the sun, helping to spread energy generation more evenly throughout the day.
Browse: Hydrogen Production without the Precious Metal Browse: Tuk Tuks Powered by the Sun
An Australian inventor has produced a series of solar-powered vehicles that he hopes will take the developing world by storm. The first models are already for sale, and mass production will begin in March 2014.
Browse: Solar for the Outback
Modest-sized solar thermal plants could save almost $1 billion in investment that is otherwise required to upgrade electricity transmission to regional towns, with major reductions in carbon emissions a bonus.
Browse: Extreme Batteries
Chemical engineers have found a way to make rechargeable batteries with extreme capacity, potentially powering electrical cars to run more than 300 km before needing a recharge.
Browse: Supercapacitor in Body Panels Boost Power in Electric Cars
Feature: The Immediate Risks of Gas Production to Water Resources
Public concerns about unconventional gas production focus on contamination of aquifers deep below the surface, yet the most immediate risk to water resources is right before our eyes.
Browse: Water and Sunlight the Formula for Sustainable Fuel
Credit: Nischaporn/Adobe
Feature: Can the Electricity Grid Cope with Electric Vehicles?
Electric vehicles are expected to take over our roads in the coming decade, but can our electricity infrastructure cope with the additional demands they will place on it?
Agave crop
Feature: Tequila Sunrise
Agave is most popularly known for its use in tequila, but it could also usher in the dawn of a sustainable biofuel industry that does not compete with food crops for arable land.
Protesters called for no further expansion of coal and coal seam gas.
Feature: Is Coal Seam Gas Polluting Groundwater?
Landholders are adamant that coal seam gas is contaminating their groundwater, but natural geological processes make their accusations difficult to prove. Now science is starting to fill in the cracks.
Feature: Windows Can Power City Skyscrapers
City skyscrapers could soon be powered by windows that deflect infrared light passing through them to solar panels.
Feature: High Power
Micro-hydro power units could soon provide “SWAP’n’GO” batteries to villagers in remote regions in the Himalayas.
Feature: Wind Farms: Their True Impact on Birds and Bats
Monitoring wind farms for impacts on birds and bats is an expense that could be better directed at conservation programs for threatened species.
Browse: Wave Energy on the Horizon
Wave power is wind’s neglected sibling, but a CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship report makes clear its capacity to drive Australia’s southern cities.
Browse: Sodium Batteries to the Rescue
There is a new entrant in one of the great races of our times – the quest to find cheap ways to store electricity. Murdoch University scientists believe they have the answer in the form of sodium ion batteries.
Browse: Expensive Electricity Increases Asthma
Asthma attacks have been linked to the price of electricity, with a study finding that hospital admissions rise when prices are higher.
Browse: Silicon Defects Corrected
A method for correcting defects in low-grade silicon could boost the efficiency of commercial photovoltaic panels by 10% in a few years time, further improving solar power’s competitiveness.
Browse: World Record for Solar Energy Efficiency
Browse: Cheap Offshore Wind Turbines on the Horizon Browse: Sticky Tape the Key to Ultrathin Solar Cells
Browse: Solar Breakthrough Drives Air-Con Efficiency Browse: Salt Baths Boost Electric Car Batteries
Browse: Biofuel Biochemistry Can Beat the Food vs Fuel Dilemma Browse: Catalyst Gets Hydrogen Cars Moving
Browse: Tyres Recycled into a Cleaner Diesel Blend Browse: Rechargeable Proton Battery Demonstrated
conSCIENCE: Global Outlook for Nuclear Energy
Despite the Fukushima disaster, Australian uranium miners are confident that the growing demand for electricity in a carbon-constrained world will drive an increase in nuclear power generation.
Credit: Francois Poirier/Adobe
conSCIENCE: The Basic Mistake Made by Critics of Electric Vehicles
Arguments that electric vehicles are no “greener” than the electricity they use fail to acknowledge the increasing role of renewables in the energy grid.
Cool Careers: Stars Above, Energy Below
Outside her research on the birth of the first stars, Rachel Webster is working on the use of geothermal energy in Victoria’s coal fields and running programs to support women in science.
Directions: Renewable Jet Fuels on the Runway
Sustainable jet fuels are needed to constrain the aviation industry’s greenhouse emissions.
Directions: Nuclear Energy Has a Future in Australia
Australia has compelling reasons to debate the use of nuclear energy as a power source.
Directions: What Is the Future of Shale Gas in Australia?
A review by ACOLA has weighed up the risks and rewards of shale gas extraction.
Directions: Gaps in the Government’s Energy Green Paper
The government’s energy Green Paper proposes reforms that will be difficult to deliver while ignoring several long-term issues.
Directions: Can Intelligent Networks Solve Our Energy Challenge?
We’re changing to a two-way network to exchange electricity between participants.
Directions: Energy Productivity Can Cut Costs and Encourage Growth
Australia needs to double its current level of national energy productivity by 2030.
Directions: Retaining the Lead in Solar Cell Technology
Australia must embrace change to realise its advantage in solar photovoltaics.
Directions: Unconventional Gas Needs the Right Support and Controls
Unconventional gas faces two issues: its role as an energy source and social acceptance.
Directions: Cost, Reliability and Scale: Can Renewables Deliver?
The science of climate change is more certain than the economics of how to tackle it.
Directions: We Need to Solve the Energy Trilemma Now
The Finkel Review provides a roadmap to investment in clean energy technologies.
Directions: The Energy Trilemma
Clear direction is needed to direct the transition to cheap, reliable and carbon-neutral energy technologies.
Eco Logic: South Australia Doubles Down on Solar Energy
A South Australian election promise to install solar panels and batteries in 50,000 homes has placed the Prime Minister in an awkward position.
Expert Opinion: High Levels of Methane Around Coal Seam Gas Fields
Southern Cross University academics have reported unusually high levels of methane around coal seam gas fields in northern NSW and the Tara gas fields in southern Queensland.
Expert Opinion: The Call for Nuclear Energy to Stop Biodiversity Loss
Adelaide ecologists Prof Barry Brook and Prof Corey Bradshaw have called for the promotion of nuclear power to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity in an open letter published in Conservation Biology.
Expert Opinion: On Blackouts and Renewable Energy
Politicians have blamed South Australia’s recent blackout on its reliance on renewable energy. Is this a valid concern for the state’s energy security?
Expert Opinion: Finkel Review Hedges Its Bets
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, has unveiled a blueprint for the national electricity market that “risks falling short of Australia’s task and opportunities in reducing carbon emissions”.
Lowe Tech: White Washing Energy Policy
The draft energy white paper would have looked out of date 25 years ago, when we already knew about the problems of “peak oil” and climate change.
Lowe Tech: Laying Clean Energy Foundations
A review finds that Australia is a late adopter of clean energy.
Lowe Tech: Coal Seam Gas Expansion Ignores Serious Issues
Coal seam gas extraction is expected to expand despite a cautionary report into the risks.
Lowe Tech: Concern at Emissions and Health Impacts of Coal
The expansion of coal seam gas operations could eventually produce as much greenhouse gas as all the cars on the road in Australia.
Lowe Tech: Renewables Targeted
A review of Australia’s renewable energy target appears to have been established with a particular outcome in mind.
Lowe Tech: Planes, Trains and Automobiles
While road funding regulations remain messy, the Abbott government has supported a second Sydney airport over a high speed rail line linking the east coast cities.
Lowe Tech: Cheap Petrol Signals End of the Oil Age
Petrol prices have dropped as the Saudis recognise that a cheap barrel now is better than a barrel left in the ground tomorrow.
Lowe Tech: Electric Cars Are About to Turn the Corner
Will decreasing battery costs finally enable the electric car to take off?
Lowe Tech: Clean Energy Clean Bowled
The Abbott government has placed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in a Catch-22 situation.
Lowe Tech: The Electric Vehicle Challenge
Installations of solar and wind energy will need to maintain their pace to ensure that the coming demand for electric vehicles won’t be powered by fossil fuels.
Lowe Tech: A Bullet Train to Somewhere
A strong case has been made for a high-speed rail network passing within 50 km of 60% of Australians.
Lowe Tech: Keeping All the Lights On
A 100% renewable energy system using pumped hydro can store enough power for peak demand at a competitive price to fossil fuels.
Lowe Tech: Recycling Efforts Wasted
Householders might decide it’s not worth the trouble sorting their waste.
Lowe Tech: Lift-off for Space Agency
The re-establishment of an Australian space agency is expected to generate billions of dollars after decades of neglect of the sector.
Lowe Tech: Investment in Renewables Is Burying Coal
Politicians lobbying for more coal-fired power stations are defying the preference for renewables by both consumers and investors.
Simon Says: Energy Twins
If two of the world’s biggest economies are any guide, the energy future will not be clean.
Simon Says: Is Gas Really Better Than Coal?
Despite the best current knowledge and intentions we could be accelerating climate change.
Simon Says: Tech Gains Outpace Peak Oil
Technological breakthroughs are setting the scene for the fossil fuel era to last longer and stronger.
Up Close: Watts fit to print: Developing flexible, organic solar cells
Polymer chemist Dr David Jones and materials scientist Dr Scott Watkins discuss the latest in flexible electronics -- the printable organic solar cell.
Up Close: How green is your cloud?: The energy we consume by staying connected
Telecommunications expert Dr Kerry Hinton explains how the growth in consumer and business cloud computing, and the mobile and wireless technologies that support it, is driving massive increases in power consumption.
Up Close: Compound benefits: Creating new materials to aid cleaner energy generation
Materials scientist Prof David Sholl explains how new hi-tech metal hydrides and metal-organic frameworks can be used to increase the efficiency of nuclear power stations and to capture carbon dioxide emissions in coal-fired power plants.
Online Feature: Environmental effects of fracking unclear
CSIRO scientists have highlighted concerns that chemicals produced by hydraulic fracturing could be affecting ground and surface waters.
Online Feature: How to store surplus renewable energy
Scientists calculate the energy required to store wind and solar power on the grid.
Online Feature: Electric cars at blazing-fast speeds
Electric cars can already compete on some racecourses with the world's best petrol-powered cars.
Online Feature: Trial complete: electric vehicles can work in Australia
Perth trial finds few technological barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles in Australia, but government incentives for early adopters and government programs for the roll-out of fast-DC charging stations would help Australia fully embrace these cars.
Online Feature: Scientists discover quick recipe for producing hydrogen
New formula for fast, abundant H2 production may help power fuel cells and helps explain expansive chemical-eating microbial communities of the deep
Online Feature: Can We Turn Unwanted Carbon Dioxide Into Electricity?
Researchers are developing a new kind of geothermal power plant that will lock away unwanted carbon dioxide (CO2) underground – and use it as a tool to boost electric power generation by at least 10 times compared to existing geothermal energy approaches.
Online Feature: Coal seam gas emissions lower than US: first Australian study
A CSIRO study offers the first indication of fugitive emissions from coal seam gas wells under Australian conditions.
Online Feature: Finally, some light relief for the Renewable Energy Target
The Australian government has just received a vitally important report to guide their decisions on the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.
Online Feature: Sustainable oil from algae: the technology is ready, but what about the politics? Online Feature: Snowy Hydro gets a boost, but 'seawater hydro' could help South Australia
Online Feature: Budget 2017: government goes hard on gas and hydro in bid for energy security Browse: Microwave Chemistry Zaps Solar Cells