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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.

Canada Is Building a 7 Megawatt-Hour Compressed Air Energy Storage Plant

Green energy is a popular topic right now, with many countries signing on to the Paris Climate Accord and planning to move away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy. While most countries are working toward...

This Tech Could Charge Electric Cars While They Drive

The global auto industry is worth $2 trillion, but electric and hybrid cars currently make up less than one percent of that figure. However, experts are predicting an explosion in electric car adoption. Financial services...

Why Interstellar Travel Will Be Possible Sooner Than You Think

The term “moonshot” is sometimes invoked to denote a project so outrageously ambitious that it can only be described by comparing it to the Apollo 11 mission to land the first human on the...

Solar Is Now the Cheapest Energy There Is in the Sunniest Parts of the World

Manufacturing is about robots and assembly lines, supply chains and finished products. It’s about the roof over your head, the car you drive to work, and the computer you stare at all day. We...

Electric Vehicles Are on the Rise: Here’s How to Sustain Their Growth

The struggle for electric vehicles to gain legitimacy in a world dominated by supersized SUVs and overbearing big rigs is something of a David and Goliath story. The underdog just landed a blow right between...

Just Stand Inside This Room and It Will Wirelessly Charge Your Phone

Go to any airport and you’ll see wearied travelers huddled around outlets leeching out precious electricity to feed their devices. They aren’t alone in their need for power. With more than 3 billion smartphones...

10 Tech Trends That Made the World Better in 2016

2016 was an incredible year for technology, and for humanity. Despite all the negative political-related news, there were 10 tech trends this year that positively transformed humanity. For this “2017 Kick-Off” post, I reviewed 52 weeks...

Emerging Markets Lead the Way to Cheapest-Ever Solar Energy

Energy experts have long predicted we'd eventually shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. They were right, but there have been a few surprises along the way. The shift is happening faster than anyone thought...

Canada’s Building a Plant That Will Make Fuel Out of Poop

Each time you flush a toilet, it’s the beginning of a long journey. Your waste makes its way through a maze of pipes and sewers, eventually reaching its first destination: a sewage treatment plant. There,...

This Solar Fabric Could Let You Charge Your Phone With Your Shirt

Solar energy is becoming ever more widespread, with panels going up not only on houses and office buildings, but on cars, buses, and road signs. The latest advancement in solar technology will put solar...

These Wild New Floors Will Harvest Energy From Your Footsteps

The road to renewable energy requires one step at a time. Well, actually, it requires quite a few steps. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Forest Products Laboratory in Madison believe they can harness the...

3 Big Trends Shaking Up the Energy Industry

We are at the cusp of an energy revolution. This post is a look at how three technologies — solar, batteries, and electric vehicles (EVs) — are poised to disrupt a $6 trillion energy industry over the...

Singularity University Comes Home: Global Summit Kicks off Today in San Francisco

Singularity University’s inaugural Global Summit is kicking off today in tech capital San Francisco and running through August 30th. The Singularity Hub team will be on the ground, covering some of the best speakers, and...

Meet the Reactors Accelerating Us Toward Fusion Energy

The old joke about fusion is that it is 30 years from becoming a reality — and that’s been the case for the last 50 years or more. It’s a joke that may quickly...
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Ray Kurzweil Explains Why Radical Life Extension Will Be Better Than You Think

According to Ray Kurzweil, we’re approaching a time when humans will begin to radically extend their lifespans. This sounds good on the surface, but will we have enough resources to support everyone? And won’t...

This Is How the World’s Poor Are Pioneering the Future of Energy

What if it took you four hours a day to cook all your meals because, in addition to cooking, you also had to search for firewood? What if you could only work and study...

Why Your Smartphone’s Battery Sucks Is Finally Revealed

When it comes to modern consumer electronics, we all seem to be obsessed with finding an electrical outlet to charge up. That’s because the lithium-ion batteries that power our smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets...
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Solar Energy Is Now as Cheap as Fossil Fuels

Exponential Finance celebrates the incredible opportunity at the intersection of technology and finance. “We are now hitting a crossover point where solar, without subsidies, is starting to beat out all other sources of energy.” So said...

Solar Power Is Ready to Dominate Energy Thanks to New Tech

In the next 20 years, between 50 percent to 100 percent of the world's energy production could come from solar. Today, the global oil and natural gas industry is about a $4 trillion business. It's big...

China’s Curious Dream of Floating Nuclear Plants on the Ocean

The family of nuclear reactors found on the seven seas is about to grow—China recently announced plans to build a floating, ship-based nuclear power plant. Construction of the ship will begin next year, and...

From Bosons to Bigfoot: 6 Science Mysteries That Might Be Solved in 2016

From the origin of life to the fate of the universe, there’s plenty scientists simply don’t know. But they are making progress. 2015 has been a great year for science: we’ve seen the agreement...

10 Most Exciting SciTech Advances of 2015

As we near the end of 2015, here are my top 10 picks for 2015 technology breakthroughs. These genius inventions are sending us careening into a world of abundance, bold visionaries and accelerating exponential change. My...

Six Technologies That Hit Their Tipping Points in 2015

To the average person, it may seem that the biggest technology advances of 2015 were the larger smartphone screens and small app updates. But a lot more happened than that. A broad range of...
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Will Artificial Intelligence Transform How We Grow and Consume Food? [Video]

Today, agriculture is more efficient than ever, but it's also more dependent on environmental, technological, and social issues like never before. Climate change, drought and other disasters, shifting energy landscapes, population growth, urbanization, GMOs, changes in...

These Technologies Will Shift the Global Balance of Power in the Next 20 Years

Governments, businesses, and economists have all been caught off guard by the geopolitical shifts that happened with the crash of oil prices and the slowdown of China’s economy. Most believe that the price of...
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Watch Episode 1 of Ask an Expert, the New Web Series from Singularity University

Last week, we told you about a new web series called Ask an Expert. Well, Episode 1 is finally here and it's all about ENERGY! In its debut, questions about energy that were tweeted to @singularityu with...

On Robocars and Ultracapacitors (and other energy sources)

I was recently asked about the synergies between autonomous vehicles or robocars and ultracapacitors/supercapacitors. It turns out they are not what you would expect, and it teaches some of the surprising lessons of robocars. Ultracapacitors are...

Tesla’s Powerwall Is the Latest Step Toward Our Clean-Energy Future

Most people are skeptical that we’re heading into a clean-energy future. They find it hard to believe that solar energy is fewer than 14 years away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs....

Should We Arm the International Space Station With Lasers to Destroy Space Junk?

If you look closely enough, Earth has rings. NASA estimates there are some 500,000 pieces of space debris in orbit. Space junk, traveling up to ten times the speed of a bullet, endangers satellites...

The 4 Steps That Transform Physics Theories Into Groundbreaking New Technologies

Ever wondered how the technology we use every day came into existence? Sure, an engineer designed it, a manufacturer produced it, and some savvy marketing helped sell you the product, but where did the...

Technology Gives Us the Power to Rewrite Nature

One of my old professors used to say calculus is the language of the universe. Now, every so often, I'll watch trees in the wind, cars on the road, or clouds rolling by, and see equations made...

Can Fusion Energy Be Obtained Without the Death Star?

The National Ignition Facility, located in Livermore, CA, is a spectacular, ultramodern facility the size of a football stadium. Housed within are 192 laser beams, which can be focused onto a one-centimeter glass sphere...

New Hybrid Solar Cell Battery Takes Aim at Solar Power’s Energy Storage Problem

As the world seeks alternatives to fossil fuels, scientists, entrepreneurs and government leaders are pushing to develop cheap, clean energy. Wind-harnessing turbines are increasingly found in many parts of the world. Solar panels can be...

Unlocking Big Data: Lessons Learned From The God Particle

It’s a puzzle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a symphony. It’s the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle, the greatest physics find of the 21st century, turned into music. Chamber music, to be exact. Admittedly—and...

Solar PowerCube Provides Electricity, Clean Water, and WiFi in Disaster Zones

Following a major disaster, water, energy, and communications can be in short supply—challenging for residents and relief workers alike. But what if you could provide these necessities using only sunlight? Ecosphere's all-in-one solar solution, the Ecos...

“The World in 2025” Predicts Abundant Solar Power and Food, Tailored Drugs, Gene Therapies

In a recently released vision of the future, Thomson Reuters analysts predict solar power will be the dominant form of energy by 2025. Further, the report states genomic testing and manipulation will be common and lead...

Around the World Without a Drop of Fuel — Solar Impulse 2 Logs Its First Flight

Its wingspan matches a Boeing 747, every square inch covered in solar panels. A quarter of its weight is dedicated to energy storage. It flies day and night without a drop of conventional fuel....

Singularity Surplus: Computer Convenience For FDA Data, Paper and Pen, Power Outlets

The Scribble pen can identify and reproduce 16 million colors you might come across in daily life. The pen uses a 16-bit RGB color sensor to identify the colors of objects and reproduces them...

Singularity Surplus: New Uses for Hot Techs and New Tech for Unwanted Heat

Advances in exponential technology happen fast — too fast for Singularity Hub to cover them all. This weekly bulletin points to significant developments to keep readers in the know. Here’s a clever new use for...

Wireless Charging of Phones From Across the Room? The Tech Inches Closer

Wireless energy transmission has been possible since Thomas Edison’s time, and in the last several years, especially, with robots gaining mobility and electric vehicles building consumer demand, we’ve heard almost daily promises that the days of tangled power cords are numbered. So why do the vast majority of EV drivers and smartphone users, not to mention robots, remain tethered to plug-in chargers and cables?

Following the Solar Brick Road to Clean Energy and Smart Roadways

A proposal to power the entire United States with solar energy, without wires or solar farms, by using solar cells to pave roads and parking lots, is certainly a big idea. It comes from the Idaho couple, Scott and Julie Brusaw, yet it’s promising enough to have received finding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Now their company, Solar Roadways, is looking for another $1 million in funding on Indiegogo to manufacture the product commercially.

Singularity Surplus: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

U.N. goals whittle child and maternal death rates; computer solves word problems so you don't have to; the Milky Way gets an MRI; making fuel out of nothing.

Raspberry Pi Keeps Wowing Us Even Two Years After Launch

With the Raspberry Pi, a programmable credit card-sized computer, British computer scientists sought to rekindle garage innovation. What would young students do with the power of computing if they could buy a computer for just $35 and access all of its parts?

Clean Energy Growth Stalls With Loss of Incentives

In 2013, the addition of renewable capacity slowed slightly compared to the previous year as a result of shrinking governmental incentives and investment, according to a new report from The Pew Chartiable Trusts. While the survey found that renewable energy still relies on public incentives, it also suggested that at least parts of the industry are not as dependent as they once were on such incentives, thanks to falling prices.

Air Pollution Killed 7 Million in 2012, According to WHO

Air pollution claimed 7 million lives in 2012, according to a report just released by the World Health Organization, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. One out of every eight premature deaths in 2012 was attributable to air pollution, the numbers reveal — a rate double that reported in previous years due to more accurate measures of pollution in both outdoor and indoor environments and in a broader range of rural areas.

Singularity Surplus: Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!

Computers' EQ rises; lab-grown muscles get stronger; Texas goes big in wind power; and researchers create real-time video game interface of the human brain.

Facebook Will Expand Global Internet Access And Reach With Drones and Satellites

Echoing Google's Project Loon, Facebook is now looking to connect those would-be users. Facebook will use drones, along with satellites and the emerging free-space optical communications protocol, to connect the unconnected.
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Singularity Surplus: Put on Your Electric Thinking Cap!

Brain stimulation leads to faster learning; TED marks 30th anniversary with giant digital art display; flying wind turbine poised for test run in Alaska.

U.S. Navy Explores Beaming Solar Power From Space

The Naval Research Laboratory has built a solar module capable of capturing and transmitting solar power from space, where it's never cloudy.

100% Renewable Energy Is Feasible and Affordable, According to Stanford Proposal

Stanford University researchers led by civil engineer Mark Jacobson has drawn up detailed plans for each state in the union that show how the United States could move to 100 percent wind, water and solar power by 2050 using only technology that’s already available.

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