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Energy


Advances in energy are benefiting humanity today and tomorrow. Follow along as Singularity Hub discusses the future of energy and latest trends in this field.

Form Energy’s New Low-Cost, Iron-Air Battery Runs for 100 Hours

Finding a way to store large amounts of energy at low cost will be vital if we want to shift our grids to renewable energy. A new iron-air battery that can deliver power for...

This Tiny Electric Car Is Solar-Powered and Costs $6,800

In December of last year, a California-based startup called Aptera Motors started taking pre-orders for an electric car that’s partly solar powered. The Aptera has a unique, streamlined design, just three wheels, and a...

Nikola Tesla: 5G Network Could Realize His Dream of Wireless Electricity

At the height of his career, the pioneering electrical engineer Nikola Tesla became obsessed with an idea. He theorized that electricity could be transmitted wirelessly through the air at long distances—either via a series...

Toyota Is Building a Futuristic Prototype City Powered by Hydrogen

Most of the focus for making self-driving cars a widespread reality is on the cars themselves, specifically on the technology they require to safely perceive and interact with the world around them: sensors, cameras,...

The US Just Approved Its First Big Offshore Wind Farm, and It’s a Breakthrough for the Industry

The United States’ offshore wind industry is tiny, with just seven wind turbines operating off Rhode Island and Virginia. The few attempts to build large-scale wind farms like Europe’s have run into long delays,...

A Dutch City Is Using Electric Cars to Feed the Grid

Electric vehicles are only as green as the grid that powers them, but they can help boost the use of clean energy by storing intermittent renewable energy in their batteries. Putting that into practice...

This Powerful Tidal Turbine Will Power 2,000 Homes in the UK

Renewable energy is having its moment in the sun. And in the wind. And, lesser known but equally relevant, in the water. Tidal turbines don’t get as much buzz as solar and wind farms, and...

The US Just Set Ambitious Offshore Wind Power Targets. What Will It Take to Meet Them?

The United States’ offshore wind industry is tiny, with just seven wind turbines operating off Rhode Island and Virginia. The few attempts to build large-scale wind farms like Europe’s have run into long delays,...

Scientists Figured Out How to Turn Food Waste Into Jet Fuel

Aviation is a major contributor to climate change, and also one of the hardest sectors to wean off fossil fuels. New research suggests we could reduce the carbon footprint of jet fuel by 165...

Flying Taxis Will Hit LA Skies by 2024, According to a California Startup’s Plan

Air taxis still seem like a far-off concept, especially in a time when a lot of people have stopped flying or using shared transportation altogether. But the technology has continued to advance nonetheless, as...

Artificial Island in the North Sea Will Harvest Wind Energy at a Huge Scale

Wind is to the North Sea as sun is to the Sahara. And just as the latter is a tantalizing location to generate solar power, so the former is for making electricity from wind. Of...

New Fast-Charging, Low-Cost Batteries Could Be a Game-Changer for Electric Cars

Despite their growing popularity, electric vehicle sales still lag behind gasoline cars, and one reason is the anxiety that comes from short ranges and slow refueling times—but recent breakthroughs suggest those fears might soon...

Scientists Just Created a Catalyst That Turns CO2 Into Jet Fuel

Air travel is one of the worst contributors to global warming, burping out nearly a billion tons of CO2 a year. But what if we could close that circle by converting those greenhouse gases...

QuantumScape’s New Solid-State Battery Is Twice as Energy-Dense as Lithium-Ion

The biggest barriers to widespread adoption of electric vehicles are their limited range and long charging times compared to gasoline cars. But the release of test results from a startup building a new solid-state...

Why the Price of New Solar Electricity Fell an Incredible 89% in the Last Decade

In 1956, an early demonstration of solar photovoltaics produced a watt of energy for the modest price of an inflation-adjusted $1,865. Put another way, you'd need to spend over a half-million dollars to equal...

This Wild Electric Car Needs Little Charging, Because It Runs Partly on Sunshine

The number of miles electric cars can go on a single charge is slowly climbing, but it’s still almost invariably less than how far a comparable car can go on a tank of good...

Solar Power Stations in Space Could Be the Answer to Our Energy Needs

It sounds like science fiction: giant solar power stations floating in space that beam down enormous amounts of energy to Earth. And for a long time, the concept—first developed by the Russian scientist Konstantin...

90% of the Global Power Capacity Added in 2020 Will Be Renewable

There’s been plenty of hand-wringing about the potential for the Covid-19 pandemic to distract from the ongoing fight against climate change. But the latest data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows promising signs...

You Can Buy This Electric Car for $7,999 in California

A tiny electric car that costs just $4,200 has been all the rage in China this year. The Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV generated over 15,000 orders within 20 days of its release in...

Virtual Power Plants Could Help Solve Our Energy Needs. But What Are They?

Building a greener, more resilient grid will be essential in the coming decades if we want to slow the pace of climate change and cope with the disasters it can cause. One promising way...

Scientists Just Achieved Room Temperature Superconductivity for the First Time

Superconductivity could be the key to groundbreaking new technologies in energy, computing, and transportation, but so far it only occurs in materials chilled close to absolute zero. Now researchers have created the first ever...

A Ridiculously Huge New Solar Farm Just Came Online in China

The Chinese economy has suffered as a result of the pandemic, but one sector that’s forging full-steam ahead is energy. Last week saw the opening of a massive new solar farm—the second-largest in the...

New Reactor Design Could Produce First Ever Energy-Positive Fusion Reaction

Nuclear fusion has gone from a scientists’ pipe dream to a technology attracting serious investment. Now one of the startups chasing this holy grail of energy production has published a series of peer-reviewed scientific...

This Tiny Electric Car Is Selling Like Hot Cakes in China

Though far too many sectors of the economy have suffered enormous losses during the coronavirus pandemic, a few are doing alright. One of those is car sales. It’s sort of counter-intuitive—because with everything closed,...

Uber Wants to Go All-Electric by 2030. It Won’t Be Easy

The coronavirus pandemic has been an all-around nightmare, but there are a few silver linings. One of these is a renewed focus on the environment. Emissions plummeted worldwide when countries went into lockdown in...

How a New Solar and Lighting Technology Could Propel a Renewable Energy Transformation

The demand for cheaper, greener electricity means that the energy landscape is changing faster than at any other point in history. This is particularly true of solar-powered electricity and battery storage. The cost of...

New Zealand Is About to Test Long-Range Wireless Power Transmission

A famous image of inventor Nikola Tesla shows him casually sitting on a chair, legs crossed, taking notes—oblivious to the profusion of artificial lightning rending the air meters away. By then, Tesla and raw...

Scientists Found a Way to Turn Bricks Into Batteries

One of the biggest barriers to the renewable energy revolution is working out how to store power when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. Now scientists have shown standard construction bricks...

Construction of the World’s Biggest Nuclear Fusion Plant Just Started in France

Fusion power promises to provide limitless green energy using cheap and abundant fuel, but it’s a long-running joke that it’s always 20 years away. Last week, though, construction started on the ITER fusion plant...

GE Will 3D Print the Bases of Wind Turbines Taller Than Seattle’s Space Needle

If you’ve seen a wind farm in action, you know modern wind turbines are pretty awe-inspiring—hulking giants all in a row, massive blades turning in the barest breeze. In the last few decades, turbine...

New Record-Crushing Battery Lasts 1.2 Million Miles in Electric Cars

Electric cars had their biggest year ever in 2019. As of the end of the year, 2.5 percent of the world’s total cars were electric. It’s a small percentage, but represents significant growth for...

The US Government Just Invested Big in Small-Scale Nuclear Power

Amid the coronavirus lockdowns around the world, one of few positive pieces of news we’ve heard is that carbon emissions have dropped dramatically. The clearer skies and cleaner air have led to a renewed...

This Electric Tiny Car Can Be Rented for the Price of an Electric Scooter

On any given day, in any given city, the roads are packed with cars, motorcycles, scooters, and bikes. It’s been like that for decades. Recently, though, there's been a Cambrian explosion of alt transportation—electric...

We Won’t Have Fusion Generators in 5 Years. But the Holy Grail of Clean Energy May Still Be on Its Way

Recent reports from scientists pursuing a new kind of nuclear fusion technology are encouraging, but we are still some distance away from the “holy grail of clean energy.” The technology developed by Heinrich Hora and...

The World’s First Open-Source Nuclear Reactor Blueprint Is Coming Online

Nuclear power’s role in combating climate change is a contentious topic, but a Silicon Valley entrepreneur thinks he can sway the debate by releasing open-source designs for a small-scale reactor that could be built...

AI Is an Energy-Guzzler. We Need to Re-Think Its Design, and Soon

There is a saying that has emerged among the tech set in recent years: AI is the new electricity. The platitude refers to the disruptive power of artificial intelligence for driving advances in everything...

Microsoft’s Moonshot Plan to Reverse Its Lifetime CO2 Emissions by 2050

The alarming headlines about Australia’s bush fires over the last couple weeks have heightened the global outcry over climate change, and companies, NGOs, and governments are taking action. One of the most ambitious targets was...

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Will Power 4.5 Million Homes

Renewable energy statistics just keep topping each other. Solar power is getting cheaper. Battery storage capacity is getting better. And wind farms are getting bigger. 2019 saw the world’s biggest (at the time) offshore wind...

IBM’s Plan to Design Solid-State Batteries Using Quantum Tech

Batteries are the key to decarbonizing both transport and the grid, but today’s technology is still a long way from living up to this promise. IBM seems to have decided its computing chops are...

New Battery Lets Electric Cars Go 200 Miles on a 10-Minute Charge

Electric vehicles could decarbonize one of the most polluting sectors of our economy, but they're bedeviled by one major problem: range anxiety. A new battery design that can charge in just 10 minutes promises...

New Tech Is Helping Nuclear Power Make a Comeback

Nuclear power has a lot going for it. It’s carbon-free, can produce huge amounts of power from relatively small amounts of fuel, and once plants are built, they’re cheap to run. But containing the...

This Startup Wants to Store Grid Energy by Lifting Concrete Blocks

The energy transition is underway. It’s not just crucial for climate change that we kick our fossil fuel habit—it will soon be more expensive not to. In the UK, for example, it’ll soon be...

The Promise of Direct Air Capture: Making Stuff Out of Thin Air

Imagine making fuel, plastics, and concrete out of “thin air." That’s the promise of direct air capture (DAC), a technology that fundamentally disrupts our contemporary oil economy. Mimicking what already occurs in nature, DAC essentially...

How Cheap Must Batteries Get for Renewables to Compete With Fossil Fuels?

While solar and wind power are rapidly becoming cost-competitive with fossil fuels in areas with lots of sun and wind, they still can’t provide the 24/7 power we’ve become used to. At present, that’s...

The Age of Solar Energy Abundance Is Coming in Hot

Every five days, the sun provides the Earth with as much energy as all proven supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas. If humanity could capture just one 6,000th of Earth’s available solar energy, we’d be...

The Newest Way to Go Green? Retrofit Your Old Car to Make It Electric

Thanks to a rapid decline in lithium-ion battery prices and increases in their energy storage density, we’re headed into the age of the electric car. So much so that some nations, including France, India,...

How the US Will Get to a 50 Percent Renewable Electric Economy by 2030

By 2030, more than 50 percent of the US economy will run on electricity derived from renewables. What are the implications as we shift the US and global energy economies away from fossil fuels? For the...

The Biggest Offshore Wind Project in the US Is Underway

From the steady growth in market share of electric cars to continuous improvement and expansion of solar energy technology, it appears the world is going renewable—the age of fossil fuels is slowly but surely...

How to Deploy Tech Solutions to the World’s Greatest Challenges at Scale

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” argued Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th century US lecturer, philosopher, and essayist. In other words, if scientists and engineers invent...

Wood Gets a Makeover to Provide Energy-Free Air Conditioning

Powering buildings costs America $430 billion a year and accounts for 40 percent of total energy use. Almost half of that is used for heating and cooling. Now scientists have given our oldest building...

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