Environmental Protection

Energy and Climate Change


High-Speed Method to Aid Search for Solar Energy Storage Catalysts

Finding an efficient way to store solar energy is a major goal for science and society. Writing this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie, a Wisconsin group of researchers describes a new high-throughput method to identify electrocatalysts for water oxidation.

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Retrofit Kits Help Businesses Meet New DOE Lighting Standards

Starting on July 14, 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) will begin phasing out most T12 fluorescent lights and replacing them with energy-efficient T5 lights. To help make the adjustment to T5 lights easier, one company in the United States has begun making retrofit plug-and-play adapters.

Fuel Economy Slipped as Gas Prices Dipped Throughout April

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs purchased in April was 23.9 mpg, down from 24.1 in March, but the same as in February. Despite the drop, fuel economy is up 3.8 mpg (or 19 percent) from October 2007, the first month of monitoring by UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

SEPTA Partners With Energy Management Firm to Help Reduce Utilities and Fuel Costs

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the nation’s sixth-largest public transport organization, has signed a three-year contract with SourceOne energy consulting firm. SEPTA is looking for support for electricity and natural gas procurement.

Carnegie Mellon University Student Builds C02 Fence

Sculpted by chemistry graduate student Longzhu Shen (MCS'12), the latest installation at CMU's ArtPark Lab uses environmentally friendly lighting to illustrate the fluctuation of carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere over the past 800,000 years.

The Energy Efficient Soldier

U.S. soldiers are increasingly weighed down by batteries to power weapons, detection devices and communications equipment. So the Army Research Laboratory has awarded a University of Utah-led consortium almost $15 million to use computer simulations to help design materials for lighter-weight, energy efficient devices and batteries.

Gas Development Linked to Wildlife Habitat Loss

Intense development of the two largest natural gas fields in the continental United States is driving away some wildlife from their traditional wintering grounds, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Students Use Dog Waste to Light Park

Every day, about 200 dogs and their owners visit the Cosmo dog park in Gilbert, Ariz. When they go home, they leave behind about eight cubic yards of dog waste, plastic bottles, bags and other trash. Normally, all of that junk ends up in a landfill. But starting this month, the little gifts that Fido leaves will be used to power a light at the park, thanks to a team of engineering and technology students from ASU’s Polytechnic campus.



Researchers Use Weather Model to Recommend East Coast Offshore Wind Farms

Most energy experts agree that cheap, clean, renewable wind energy holds great potential to help the world satisfy energy needs while reducing harmful greenhouse gases. But how can fluctuating wind power be made more consistent to match our power needs?

New Poll Finds Americans Want Less Population Growth 40 years After Government Called for Stabilization

Forty years after a multi-year bi-partisan government commission recommended slowing U.S. population growth and eventually stabilizing, Americans still would like to see it happen, according to poll results to be released this weekend at the 2012 Earth Day Dallas festival.

Save Big on Heating, Cooling Costs with Efficiency Controls

U.S. commercial building owners could save an average of 38 percent on their heating and cooling bills if they installed a handful of energy efficiency controls that make their heating, ventilation and air conditioning, also known as HVAC, systems more energy efficient, according to a recent report from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

New Research Suggests Metal Oxides Hold the Key to Cheap, Green Energy

Harnessing the energy of sunlight can be as simple as tuning the optical and electronic properties of metal oxides at the atomic level by making an artificial crystal or super-lattice ‘sandwich,’ says a Binghamton University researcher in a new study published in the journal Physical Review B.

Natural Clothing with Solar Power Chargers In the Works at Colorado State University

Colorado State University apparel design and production researchers and students are working to develop natural-fiber outdoor clothing that can charge MP3 devices, tablets, computers, GPS units and cell phones with built-in -- but comfortable to wear -- solar panels. The project is so impressive that it was recently selected to compete in a sustainability design competition in Washington, D.C., from April 21-23.

Cities with the Most Energy Star Buildings in the United States

By the end of 2011, the nearly 16,500 Energy Star certified buildings across America have helped save nearly $2.3 billion in annual utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes.

Military Leads in Renewable Energy Race

The U.S. Army is leading the march for renewable energy with a goal of 25 percent clean power by 2025. The Army Corps of Engineers has set up the Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) as of September, 2011 to help meet the deadline.

Solar Reactor May Enable Clean Fuel Derived from Sunlight

Producing hydrogen from non-fossil fuel sources is a problem that continues to elude many scientists but University of Delaware’s Erik Koepf thinks he may have discovered a solution.

Datacenter overheating problems tackled at energy conference

Solving server overheating problems at datacenters will save massive amounts of wasted energy worldwide.

Best Practices in Solar Energy Production Highlighted in New Report

Survey of Over 100 Solar Manufacturers Reveal Current Environmental, Worker Safety, and Fiduciary Considerations

EPA Proposes First Carbon Pollution Standard for Future Power Plants

Achievable standard is in line with investments already being made and will inform the building of new plants moving forward.

The Future of Nuclear Energy

Last March, the world watched closely as Japan struggled to contain a series of equipment failures, hydrogen explosions and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

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