Taxonomy term

renewable energy

Can renewable energy and desalination tackle two problems at once?

In an era of extended droughts combined with increasing water demand, water-scarce areas of the world are considering expensive and far-flung water sources. At the same time, electric grids are straining to meet surging demand for electricity. Could wind- and solar-powered desalination plants be the solution to both problems?

26 Oct 2014

Calculating America's energy landscape

Studying the landscape-scale impact of energy development requires working at the interface where policy, business, activism, scientific research and stakeholders overlap.

02 Sep 2014

Energy storage brings a renewable energy future one step closer

Renewable energy sources promise to address many of the energy challenges facing society: They derive power from inexhaustible supplies of sunlight and wind and have the capability to meet a substantial portion of global electricity demands without adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. However, renewable power supplies must first overcome one inherent drawback: variability.

29 Sep 2013

Think differently: renewable hydrogen generation

Most of the existing solutions for renewable energy storage represent riffs on our current energy infrastructure. They are either inherent to existing fuel sources (concentrated solar power), or linked directly to the grid (flywheels, pumped storage and compressed air energy storage). But what if the future looks radically different from today, as history has often shown it can? What if the future of energy is based on hydrogen produced by renewable energy sources?

29 Sep 2013

Policy in the field: What's next for tax policies and the American clean energy economy?

It takes green to be green. Renewable energy technology requires dedicated investments, whether public or private, to succeed. The costs are steep, but many consider the cause worthwhile. After all, politicians on both sides tout having diverse array of energy resources as important for national and economic security. Nonetheless, in this tight economic climate, very little is safe. Now, Congress is starting to look at federal tax policies as they affect renewable energy development.

16 May 2012

Is there really a minerals crisis?

Reports suggest that the world is running out of crucial supplies of minerals, from copper and lead to the rare earths. But shortages have more to do with sociological and political issues than actual geology.

08 Jul 2011

Crystal Ball EARTH: Energy: A fool's look into the future

In the 1985 classic “Back to the Future,” Doc Brown, the mad scientist played by Christopher Lloyd, queries his time-traveling visitor, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), in 1955 about the future of America with the simple question of who was president. The answer of Ronald Reagan appeared astounding and ridiculous, as his name was on a movie poster at the time.

04 Dec 2009

Crystal Ball EARTH: Energy: Oil and gas around the world

Energy is a combined product of natural resources, human ingenuity and economy; it is also an engine for economic and social development. This is truer now than ever before because the global economy is more integrated and populations are growing, and with that, competition, challenges and prospects are also rising.

01 Dec 2009

GSA meeting: Hydrocarbons not going into the sunset just yet

HOUSTON – Energy — in particular biofuels (and developing sustainable feedstock for biofuels), oil and hydrocarbons — was a primary topic on Monday at the Geological Society of America meeting. And one particularly interesting presentation examined global fossil fuel resources and just how much oil is left.

07 Oct 2008

Congress lets bans on outer continental shelf drilling expire

In July, President Bush lifted the executive ban on outer continental shelf (OCS) drilling, putting pressure on Congress to follow suit.

In the face of increased fuel costs and a weakened economy, lawmakers in both chambers have demonstrated a willingness to compromise on the issue. The House was able to pass a compromised energy bill on Sept. 16, by a vote of 236 to 189. The legislation would allow drilling 160 kilometers (100 miles) from shore and would provide states the option to drill 80 to 160 kilometers (50 to 100 miles) from their own coasts.

25 Sep 2008