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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.

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...

5 Coming Breakthroughs in Energy and Transportation

The energy and transportation industries are being aggressively disrupted by converging exponential technologies. In just five days, the sun provides Earth with an energy supply exceeding all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas....

Electric Cars Are Estimated to Be Cheaper Than Regular Cars by 2022

Electric cars have developed a reputation as the ultimate status symbol of the champagne environmentalist, but that could be very close to changing. New research from BloombergNEF says they could be cheaper than combustion-engine...

China’s Electric Buses Save More Diesel Than All Electric Cars Combined

Tesla and other electric cars are great for the environment. However, they pale in comparison to electric buses. According to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), electric buses will save an astounding...

China Is Taking the Worldwide Lead in Wind Power

Renewable energy demand and capacity are growing explosively. When looking at numbers for wind energy production, China stands above all other countries. Figures released by the Global Energy Council in late February showed that...

How New 2D Materials Convert Wi-Fi Signals to Electricity

Our eyes are only attuned to a narrow band of possible wavelengths for electromagnetic radiation, between around 390-700 nanometers. If you could see the world in different wavelengths, you’d be aware that, in a...

Advancing Vehicle-to-Grid Tech: Why Solar Energy Needs Your Electric Car

Solar may be the future of energy production, but for the time being, it causes a lot of problems.  Energy producers, grid managers, and energy markets have struggled to adapt to the growing amount...

The Catch No One’s Talking About: Renewable Energy Relies on Non-Renewable Resources

Renewable energy is generally viewed as a long-term solution to climate change. It’s no surprise, then, that a great deal of effort is going into to powering the world by using only renewables, and...

Will Electric Planes Ever Happen? Here’s an Update on Their Status

In 2015, airlines burned through 276 million tons of jet fuel. That's roughly 7 percent of global oil products, and leads to direct emissions that make up 2.7 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions....

Switching to Electric Vehicles Could Save the US Billions, But Timing Is Everything

Today, less than two percent of the vehicles Americans buy are electric. But within the next three decades, some automotive industry experts expect electric vehicles could make up the majority of US and global...

Why Our Current Energy Transition Is Both Unprecedented and Urgent

The combustion of oil, gas, and coal have made possible a much higher standard of living for humans through radical innovations in technology and science over the past 150 years. Yet for decades, scientists...

The 7 Wild Energy Technologies That Just Got a Billion-Dollar Boost

It's touch and go whether current efforts to curb carbon emissions will avert catastrophic climate change. That's why a group of billionaires have pledged $1 billion to fund radical new energy technologies, and they've...

New Materials Are Powering the Battery Revolution

There are more mobile phones in the world than there are people. Nearly all of them are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are the single most important component enabling the portable electronics revolution...

This Breakthrough New Particle Accelerator Is Small But Mighty

Particle accelerators have become crucial tools for understanding the fundamental nature of our universe, but they are incredibly big and expensive. That could change, though, after scientists validated a new approach that could usher...

What’s Disrupting How We Produce Energy—and How We Use It

“Where did solar energy get its start?” Ramez Naam asked in a presentation at Singularity University’s Global Summit. Naam, a computer scientist and award-winning science fiction author, has in recent years turned his attention...

Waste Heat: The Overlooked Energy Problem, and How to Solve It

With the exponential increase in the number of data centers and electronic devices over the last decade, waste heat has become a big but overlooked environmental problem. It is frequently hidden away, out of...

Designing a ‘Solar Tarp,’ a Foldable, Packable Way to Generate Power From the Sun

The energy-generating potential of solar panels—and a key limitation on their use—is a result of what they’re made of. Panels made of silicon are declining in price such that in some locations they can...

The New Energy Storage Tech Gates, Bezos, Ma, and Branson Are Investing In

A group of billionaires including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Richard Branson have invested in Form Energy. The company, out of MIT, is designing a new type of battery, thought to be...

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