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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.

The First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Was Just Approved by US Regulators

Nuclear power could play an important role in decarbonizing the energy sector, but reactors are simply too expensive and complicated to roll out quickly. A new, smaller reactor could soon change that after receiving...

This ‘Solar Tower’ System Produces Jet Fuel From CO2, Water, and Sunlight

In theory, it's possible to create jet fuel from nothing more than water, CO2, and energy from the sun, but doing so outside of the laboratory has proved challenging. Now researchers have created the...

Electric Seagliders Could Enable Short-Haul Emissions-Free Air Travel This Decade

Electrifying aviation could help tackle the sector’s serious emissions problems, but battery-powered passenger jets are still some way off. All-electric seagliders that skim the waves like pelicans could hit the market much sooner, though. Efforts...

This Solar Car Will Soon Hit Production—and It Costs Less Than $26K

A year and a half ago, San Diego-based Aptera Motors started taking orders for the Aptera, its three-wheeled solar car that resembles a cross between the Batmobile, the Delorian, and a personal-size aircraft. The...

Japan’s Kairyu Sea Turbine Will Harvest the Never-Ending Power of Deep Ocean Currents

A little over a year ago, a Scottish company called Orbital Marine Power was getting a two-megawatt tidal turbine up and running in the North Sea. The system was expected to generate enough electricity...

Summer Could Bring Rolling Blackouts as Power Grids Get More Unstable

The rush to decarbonize our energy supply has led to some ambitious goal-setting, like President Biden’s plan to create a zero-emissions power sector by 2035 and a zero-emissions economy by 2050. The North American...

This Algae Powered a Computer for a Year With Just Water and Sunlight

Nearly three billion years ago, oceanic mats of cyanobacteria, called blue-green algae, transformed Earth's atmosphere by converting carbon dioxide into the oxygen we complex animals breath. In their time on the planet, they've survived...

A 590-Foot-Tall Dam in China Will Be Built Entirely by Robots

As the world rushes to stop burning fossil fuels and implement more renewable sources of power, there’s a lot of hype around solar and wind. While they’re comparatively easier to get up and running,...

This Portable Wind Turbine Is the Size of a Water Bottle and Charges Devices in Under an Hour

Five years ago, a startup called Semtive Energy took the concept of a wind turbine, shrank it down to the size of a garden shrub, and started marketing it directly to households; much like...

The US Just Put $3 Billion Towards Securing Its Battery Supply Chain

In the coming years and decades, critical minerals will start to rival oil and gas as the world’s most sought-after commodities, and the US is currently not very well-positioned to compete in this new...

The US Is Spending $6 Billion to Keep Its Aging Nuclear Reactors Running

For the last several decades, nuclear power has been viewed by many in the US and abroad as an energy source that’s too risky, not “green” enough, or otherwise undesirable. But with climate change...

Nissan and NASA Are Teaming Up to Make a Metal-Free Solid-State Battery

The slow but steady transition to renewable energy was already underway when Russia invaded Ukraine in February, and since then the global energy market has been turned on its head. We’re likely to witness...

Nuclear Fusion Hit a Milestone Thanks to Better Reactor Walls

Scientists at a laboratory in England have shattered the record for the amount of energy produced during a controlled, sustained fusion reaction. The production of 59 megajoules of energy over five seconds at the...

The World’s First Deep Geological Nuclear Vault Will Store Radioactive Waste in Finland for 100,000 Years

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, the world was on the cusp of an energy crisis. As countries scramble to set ambitious carbon neutrality targets, it remains wholly unclear how those targets will be met,...

How Geothermal Plants Could Unlock Vast Supplies of Lithium in the American West

Geothermal energy has long been the forgotten member of the clean energy family, overshadowed by relatively cheap solar and wind power, despite its proven potential. But that may soon change, for an unexpected reason. Geothermal...

The UK May Build a £16 Billion Solar Power Station in Space. Here’s How It Would Work

The UK government is reportedly considering a £16 billion proposal to build a solar power station in space. Yes, you read that right. Space-based solar power is one of the technologies to feature in the...

The Electric Revolution: EV Sales Doubled in 2021 and Are Surging This Year Too

Electric vehicles (EVs) will play a crucial role in decarbonizing our transport systems and helping us avoid the worst effects of climate change. The latest figures suggest they are making major inroads into the...

China Plans to Build 450 GW of Wind and Solar Power in the Desert

Last year the Chinese government set an ambitious energy target, aiming for 40 percent of its grid’s power to come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. President Xi Jinping also said China will be...

Bitcoin’s Carbon Emissions Are Rising After China’s Crypto Ban

Cryptocurrencies could remake our financial systems, but question marks remain over their green credentials. Now a new analysis suggests their environmental impact has gotten even worse after a mass exodus of miners from China. The...

Startup Will Drill 12 Miles Into Earth’s Crust to Tap the Boundless Energy Below

When it comes to renewable energy, almost all the love goes to solar and wind. Which isn't surprising, given the tear both technologies have been on of late. But solar and wind have their drawbacks....

H2 Clipper Will Resurrect Hydrogen Airships to Haul Green Fuel Across the Planet

Airships might seem like a technology from a bygone era, but a startup says their new design could become a crucial cog in the green hydrogen supply chain. While transitioning away from fossil fuels will...

Chasing Energy’s Holy Grail: Was 2021 Fusion Power’s Breakthrough Year?

Few technologies encapsulate the techno-utopian dream as much as fusion power, but its promise of limitless renewable energy has always remained tantalizingly out of reach. A flurry of developments in the last six months...

The World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Is Up and Running

Two and a half years ago, the Hornsea 1 offshore wind farm started generating power. Located in the North Sea off the coast of Grimsby, England, it was completed in 2020, with 174 turbines...

2021 Will Set an All-Time Record for New Renewable Energy

Many of the headlines that followed this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (also called the COP26) were pretty grim, with the overarching message being that we’ve done a lot of damage to the planet...

This Robot Tunnels Through Solid Rock by Blasting It With a Jet of Superheated Gas

In science fiction movie, The Core, an intrepid crew journeys to the center of the Earth in a vessel that melts through the planet's crust and mantle with a giant laser. Drilling startup, Petra,...

A Plane Powered by Cooking Oil Just Flew Across the US

The global aviation industry is responsible for two percent of the world’s total carbon emissions. Some countries are having success convincing people to fly less, but let’s be honest—we’re not going to stop taking...

Rolls-Royce Says Its Electric Plane Just Smashed the World Record for Speed

The first electric plane took flight in 1973. There was just one person on board and the plane only stayed in the air for 14 minutes, but it was the beginning of an ongoing...

A Solar Farm the Size of 1,000 Football Stadiums Is Going Up in Indiana

The transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources is underway, with solar and wind farms popping up everywhere from the UK to China. A new project in the central US will...

GE’s New Autonomous Electric Pods Have No Steering Wheel, Pedals, or Cab

Self-driving cars are taking longer to become a reality than many experts predicted. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t steady progress being made; on the contrary, autonomous driving technology is consistently making incremental advancements...

Scientists Mapped Every Large Solar Plant on the Planet Using Satellites and Machine Learning

An astonishing 82 percent decrease in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy since 2010 has given the world a fighting chance to build a zero-emissions energy system which might be less costly than...

The Race for Fusion Power Heats Up as Multiple Projects Hit New Milestones

Fusion power could be a silver bullet for the world’s energy and environmental woes, but it’s famously always 30 years away. A recent flurry of announcements is raising hopes that maybe the timeline has...

Electrifying the Future: Toyota Puts Over $13 Billion Into Battery Technology

The world’s largest car manufacturer by volume has been sluggish in its efforts to electrify compared to competitors. But Toyota has just announced a huge investment in battery technology that may be a sign...

The World’s Largest Direct Air Capture Plant Is Now Pulling CO2 From the Air in Iceland

A little over four years ago, the world’s first commercial plant for sucking carbon dioxide out of the air opened near Zurich, Switzerland. The plant was powered by a waste heat recovery facility, with...

Hyundai Goes All-In on Hydrogen With Its ‘Trailer Drone’ and More

Between the grim outlook reported by the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report last month and frequent reports of extreme weather events all over the world, the climate crisis feels like it’s getting more dire by...

This Room Can Wirelessly Charge Devices Anywhere Within Its Walls

Today, wireless charging is little more than a gimmick for high-end smartphones or pricey electric toothbrushes. But a new approach that can charge devices anywhere in a room could one day allow untethered factories...

Better Than Batteries? A Startup That’s Storing Energy in Concrete Blocks Just Raised $100 Million

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Sixth Assessment Report in early August, and the outlook isn’t good. The report has added renewed urgency to humanity’s effort to curb climate change. The price of...

We Could Power Our Homes With Food Scraps. Here’s What’s Stopping Us

Imagine if you could power your kettle using the energy generated from the vegetable cuttings quietly breaking down in your kitchen’s compost bin. That reality might not be so far off with the growth...

The World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Is Being Built in China

In 2018, GE unveiled its Haliade-X turbine, and it has since been the largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world. At 853 feet tall and with a rotor measuring 722 feet...

Scientists Just Laid Out a Game Plan for Building a Clean Hydrogen Economy

Batteries and renewable energy are helping to decarbonize large swathes of the modern world, but they look less likely to help in areas like industrial heating, long-haul heavy transportation, and long-duration energy storage. Some...

Magnetizable Concrete in Roads Could Charge Electric Cars While You Drive

One of the biggest barriers to electric vehicle adoption is the fear of running out of juice before you get to your destination. Roads that can charge your vehicle as you drive could be...

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...

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