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    More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives
  • EIA Updates “Top 100 U.S. Oil and Gas Fields” Rankings

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    Both crude oil and natural gas reserves in the United States increased in 2013, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This report also included the first update of the EIA’s “Top 100 U.S. Oil and Gas Fields” list since 2009. All told, the top 100 oil fields in the United [...]

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    Japan Now Has More EV Chargers Than Gas Stations

    EV charging point in Amsterdam. Image by: Tali Trigg.

    For any alternative fuel in transport, the key question is: what about infrastructure? As in, how much does infrastructure cost, what are the environmental effects, and who is actually going to pay for it? Without answering these questions, analysis of alternative fuels often becomes nothing more than an introduction to the fuel’s chemical properties. In [...]

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    Hyliion Takes Home Big Prizes at Rice Business Plan Competition With Its Hybrid 18-Wheeler

    Hyliion - back of prototype

    On Saturday, a start-up called Hyliion was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Entrepreneurship prize at the 15th annual Rice Business Plan Competition in Houston. This Pittsburgh-based and student-led company has developed a slide-in suspension system for tractor-trailers that could reduce fuel use in these trucks by 31%.  With an anticipated price tag [...]

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    Indian Railways and Military Go Solar

    Sunrise in Tamil Nadu, India. Image courtesy: SR Sasikumar.

    There’s been no shortage recently of big companies going big on solar, nor of middlemen trying to pave the way for bulk buying of solar power, but when the beast that is national procurement gets involved, the ante is upped. Entering this mix: India. While Indian solar potential has to date been largely untapped, there [...]

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    Stanford Researchers Unveil New Ultrafast Charging Aluminum-Ion Battery

    This schematic shows how the aluminum-ion battery shuttles AlCl4- ions from its graphite cathode to its aluminum anode in order to produce a discharge current (Source: Lin et al., 2015)

    Last week, Stanford University researchers unveiled a new aluminum-ion battery chemistry with the unique ability to charge or discharge in less than a minute. The battery’s incredibly fast charging and discharging times are not its only breakthrough. It is also the first aluminum-based battery to achieve an operating voltage sufficient for common applications and last [...]

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    Clinton Makes Climate Change A Central Issue for 2016

    Hillary Clinton

    It’s official. Hillary Clinton is running for President of the United States. That wasn’t a surprise, but something about her campaign really stood out yesterday – and most people missed it. This tweet by John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman: As reported at ThinkProgress, Hillary’s campaign is the first major presidential campaign to make combating climate [...]

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    A Tale of Two City-States

    Singapore gardens by the bay, the result of an urban planning project to turn unused land in the bay into open walkable space, part of Singapore's garden tradition. Image credit: Kathleen Sullivan.

    How Hong Kong and Singapore Went from Fishing Villages to Urban Lodestars I’m writing this on a flight from Hong Kong where news has just broken that the father of the Singaporean city-state Lee Kuan Yew has passed away. On the airplane TV, BBC shows a 1993 interview with him, sharing his thoughts on the [...]

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    Wellinghoff: Extend Electricity Market Visibility to the Distribution Grid


    Last week I had the pleasure of attending Austin-based research firm ZPryme’s annual Energy Thought Summit, which brought together business leaders and technical experts to discuss emerging energy technologies and trends. One of the featured speakers was former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. He spoke about some potentially disruptive energy technologies currently [...]

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    Visualizing U.K. and U.S. Energy Flows

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    Where does it comes from? Where does it go? These two questions were asked last summer here on Plugged In with respect to the energy use in the United States. Now, let’s take a look at energy flows on the other side of the Atlantic – in particular the United Kingdom – and see how [...]

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    In Los Angeles, Cleaner Air Is Helping Children Breathe Easier


    Children’s lungs are growing substantially stronger as air pollution in Southern California decreases. The Los Angeles area had struggled with air pollution for decades. But, according to new research published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine, recent local air quality improvements appear to have led to a positive shift in children’s respiratory health. All [...]

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