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Plugged In

Plugged In

More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives

  • The Essentials of Energy

    By Sheril Kirshenbaum | 6 hours ago |

    Watch this new must-see video by Joe Hanson of PBS Digitial Studio's It's Okay To Be Smart . He does a great job covering all sorts of energy topics. This video kicks off an excellent three part series (and I had a great time chatting energy with Joe while they were in production!)   Here at Plugged In, we'll be sure to post the next two videos as they're available. […]

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  • Solar Start-Ups Focus on Soft-Costs at SunShot Catalyst Competition

    Solar Start-Ups Focus on Soft-Costs at SunShot Catalyst Competition

    By Melissa C. Lott | 11 hours ago |

    Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded prizes to five companies that focus on the soft-costs of solar power through the SunShot Initiative’s  Catalyst Prize . Since 2011, SunShot has  funded  more than 350 projects with focuses including solar photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), system integration, technology to market, and balance of systems costs (soft costs). According to the DOE, while solar hardware costs have been falling steeply, the balance-of-systems costs ("soft-costs") of solar projects have been slower to drop and can represent as much as  64%  of the total installed price of a new solar system. […]

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  • Should the British Expand Heathrow Airport?

    Should the British Expand Heathrow Airport?

    By Melissa C. Lott | May 22, 2015 |

    Air pollution from aviation in the U.K. leads to about 110 premature deaths across the country each year. An estimated 28% of these early deaths occur in people living within 20 miles of Heathrow. In turn, the British are facing a challenging question – just how should they manage growing demand for air travel? […]

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  • Cities Where It's Faster to Walk than Drive

    Cities Where It's Faster to Walk than Drive

    By Tali Trigg | May 16, 2015 |

    Late last year I came across an article noting that traffic in downtown London was now moving at the same speed as that of a horse-drawn carriage , basically the state of traffic a full century ago. Today, I found myself walking past the same car here in Bangkok as I went to work, and it made me wonder: where is it actually faster to walk than drive? […]

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  • What Does Tesla's Powerwall Really Mean for the Grid?

    What Does Tesla's Powerwall Really Mean for the Grid?

    By Robert Fares | May 14, 2015 |

    Earlier this month, Tesla announced its new Powerwall, a home battery system designed to hang in your home or garage. Since the announcement, there has been an explosion of buzz about the new device, with some already heralding Tesla’s victory over fossil fuels and the utilities. […]

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  • Study: Proposed Carbon Cuts Could Save 3,000+ Lives Per Year

    By Melissa C. Lott | May 5, 2015 |

    Reductions in national carbon emissions could prevent more than 3,000 premature deaths per year by cleaning up the air across the nation, finds a new study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change. Furthermore, according to Driscoll and his fellow researchers, the largest potential health benefits would occur in states in the Ohio River Valley, which currently have some of the highest air pollution levels from coal-fired power plants in the nation. […]

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  • Queen of Carbon Becomes First Woman to Receive IEEE Medal of Honor

    By Melissa C. Lott | April 30, 2015 |

    In June , Professor Mildred Dresselhaus will formally receive the 2015 IEEE Medal of Honor for her leadership and contributions across many fields of science and engineering. She is the first woman to receive the organisation’s highest honor since its inception in 1917. […]

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  • New Research Gives An Inside Look At Lithium-Ion Batteries As They Fail

    By Melissa C. Lott | April 29, 2015 |

    What happens when lithium-ion batteries overheat and explode? In a paper published yesterday in Nature , researchers at University College London (UCL) documented their process for simultaneously imaging both the inside and outside of lithium ion batteries as they overheat. […]

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  • A Nation Divided On Keystone XL

    By Sheril Kirshenbaum | April 29, 2015 |

    The new results from the nationally representative UT Energy Poll are out today, highlighting the way so many energy issues have become politicized. A standout this time is the Keystone XL pipeline project –the last segment of a pipeline system that runs from western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. […]

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  • EIA Updates “Top 100 U.S. Oil and Gas Fields” Rankings

    By Melissa C. Lott | April 26, 2015 |

    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. […]

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