Policy Workshop: Energy Views Archive

Renewable power in Europe – Why we need a better approach

Institutional issues and a lack of system thinking are hampering progress toward resolving Europe’s renewable energy dilemma, says Mark O’Malley, professor of electrical engineering at University College Dublin. More comprehensive and objective analysis would help.

Integrating Renewables: The Flexibility Challenge

The successful integration of renewables could cut Europe’s energy bill by as much as €50 billion annually, says Goran Strbac, professor of electrical energy systems at Imperial College London. First, however, the market must start rewarding investment in flexible power generation, demand-side response and energy storage.

Surge in smart grid projects in Europe

EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) counts 459 smart grid initiatives in its yearly stock-taking report

European energy utilities increase spending on R&D

Despite a challenging market environment, the 16 European energy utilities analyzed in the ESMT Innovation Index increased their aggregate R&D budget by 3 per cent between 2010 and 2012.

Any country can reach high shares of wind, solar power cost-effectively, IEA study shows

Transformation of power systems is necessary to guarantee flexibility over long term, but this will be more difficult in some markets than in others

Biomass industry needs to prepare for water constraints

"The debates surrounding the sustainability of bioenergy will only grow louder as big urban areas start running out of water."

New research blows away claims that ageing wind farms are a bad investment

Wind turbines can remain productive for up to 25 years, making wind farms a good long-term choice for energy investors, according to new research.

How to tap the sun’s energy through heat as well as light

New approach developed at MIT could generate power from sunlight efficiently and on demand.

Seafloor carpet catches waves to generate energy

New UC Berkeley research project unlocks the potential to gain energy from oceans.

New UCL research project to create integrated bioenergy supply chain model for the UK

A new project is commencing at the UCL Energy Institute to better understand the potential role of biomass in the UK energy system.

Malaysia to fund low-carbon transport research centre at Imperial College London

Developing low emission vehicles of the future will be the focus of a major collaboration

The First Decade: Team Reports on U.S. Trials of Bioenergy Grasses

The first long-term U.S. field trials of Miscanthus x giganteus, a towering perennial grass used in bioenergy production, reveal that its exceptional yields, though reduced somewhat after five years of growth, are still more than twice those of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), another perennial grass used as a bioenergy feedstock. Miscanthus grown in Illinois also outperforms even the high yields found in earlier studies of the crop in Europe, the researchers found.

Pushing the envelope: improvements to buildings’ outer layer can slash energy use

Recent IEA publication details how to capitalise on new technologies

Smart grids can deliver green energy, but financing and policy framework still unclear

Over the next six years Europe must invest €60 billion in technology overhaul for new electricity networks – and customers likely to foot part of the bill

Gas: too much of a good thing?

A new Science|Business report examines the role of shale gas in Europe, highlighting the challenges and opportunities.

University attracts major graphene manufacturer to Manchester

One of the world’s largest graphene manufacturers has agreed a £5m collaborative research partnership to open its European base at The University of Manchester

Halving CO2 emissions by 2050: New report says it will cost $2 trillion a year

A new report from Imperial College London looks at what measures are required to reduce CO2 emissions and limit the extent of man-made climate change.

Inspired by nature

To maximise the efficiency of solar cells of the future, physicists are taking a leaf out of nature’s book.

UK and Korean researchers to work together on fuel cell technology

Imperial College London and Pohang University sign agreement that signifies a new phase of scientific cooperation between the UK and Korea

Breakthrough at University of Illinois to help enhance biofuels production

Researchers tap a cellulosic biofuels byproduct to increase ethanol yield

What impact will new technology have on tackling emissions?

New research seeks to take account of the fast pace at which technology is evolving in understanding how to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

From hidden fuel to world’s first fuel?

Inaugural publication pegs investment in 2011 at USD 300 billion, underscoring growing importance of energy efficiency

Lessons learned from the US experience with shale gas – take the time to get it right

Rush to drill backfired. Industry and regulators need to be much more vigilant to avoid environmental damage and public backlash

Beyond simple savings: The added bonuses of energy efficiency

Associated societal and personal benefits range from avoided infrastructure to higher property values

The efficient choice among combustion engines

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed an internal combustion engine that emits less than half the CO2 compared to a regular engine without compromising performance. This corresponds to fuel consumption of less than 2.4l per 100km. This natural gas-diesel hybrid engine is based on a system of sophisticated control engineering.

Low-carbon cars need another decade of research and innovation

Electric vehicles, hydrogen and other alternative technologies will be niche solutions until advances bring costs down – while existing engine efficiency can still be improved by 20 per cent.

Joint EU-US centres to promote common standards for electric vehicles and smart grids

Harmonising green technologies across the Atlantic to be a key step in realising the low-carbon economy

New rechargeable flow battery enables cheaper, large-scale energy storage

Design may support widespread use of solar and wind energy

Turning Up the Heat on Biofuels

EBI & Berkeley Lab show that not all microbes are alike when it comes to making enzymes with improved properties

The benefits of improved energy efficiency of urban transport systems

As energy consumption for transport in cities is expected to double by 2050, report sees potential savings of up to USD 70 trillion

EBI awarded first patent for biofuels research

The Energy Biosciences Institute has been granted its first patent since its establishment in 2007

BP launches £350 million UK bioethanol plant to cut transport emissions in half

While the EU votes on the true environmental benefits of biofuels, Vivergo, the UK’s largest biorefinery, opens in Hull to produce fuel from wheat

Samsung to test 7MW Offshore Wind Turbine at Narec on ETI funded test rig

Prototype to undertake first accelerated life test at new £48 million facility

Electric cars and other green vehicles need another decade of support

Internal combustion engine cars continue to increase fuel-efficiency and will dominate the market through 2030. But the payback for billions in incentives for sustainable car technologies will come as greener vehicles take to the road from 2025.

How to ensure energy supplies underground can be tapped in the future

Known hydrocarbon resources are sufficient to sustain economic growth for the foreseeable future, but developing those resources – and bringing them...

ETI seeks partners to develop gearbox & engine air charging systems to increase HDV efficiency

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking partners - major companies, academics and SMEs to help develop a new type of...

Progress towards clean energy has stalled, IEA says

The rapid expansion of renewable technologies is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak assessment of global progress...

Chalmers researchers develop a cheaper, faster charger for electric cars

Rotating transformer cuts the cost of charging to 'nearly zero'

ETI and HR Wallingford launch tidal energy modelling tool

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and HR Wallingford have launched a tidal energy modelling tool for use by tidal energy developers...

New solar-cell design based on dots and wires

MIT researchers improve efficiency of quantum-dot photovoltaic system by adding a forest of nanowires

ETI announces shortlist of companies in £2.8M competition to design energy from waste demonstrator

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has drawn up a shortlist of three companies competing to design the most economically and commercially...

IEA launches Unconventional Gas Forum

More than 100 stakeholders from around globe discuss best practices for addressing environmental and social concerns over unconventional gas development

MIT researchers develop solar-to-fuel roadmap for crystalline silicon

New analysis points the way to optimizing efficiency of an integrated system for harvesting sunlight to make storable fuel.

“Dangerous deficit” in global energy governance – international bodies coordinating energy politics need reform

The International Energy Agency should cooperate closely with China, and India as first step toward membership, Grantham Institute for Climate Change paper says

ETI launches project to assess flexible power generation systems

Focus is low carbon hydrogen production, storage and flexible turbine technology

Engineering cells for more efficient biofuel production

Researchers at MIT make progress tapping yeast to produce alternatives to gasoline

Energy efficiency and human behaviour

Are buildings that consume less energy really more energy efficient as a result? Researcher Scott Kelly from the University of Cambridge explains how predicting energy efficiency is easier said than done, especially once human behaviour becomes part of the calculation.

Government funds projects to reduce cost of Carbon Capture technology

Three projects based on Imperial research will share almost half of £20 million new funding from the UK Government to reduce...

New environmental crops combine high yield and environmental benefits

Lower nitrogen losses with perennial biofuel crops

The Nordic region can become carbon-neutral by 2050

New IEA publication details how Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden could decarbonise their power sectors and electrify transport

Wind in the willows boosts biofuel production

Willow trees cultivated for green energy can yield up to five times more biofuel if they grow diagonally, compared with those that are allowed to grow naturally up towards the sky.

CCS is a necessity for a world hooked on fossil fuels

IEA lists 2013 priorities to re-energise deployment of carbon capture and storage.

ETI invests £15.5M in new turbine blade design with Blade Dynamics

Blade Dynamics uses innovative design to develop the word's longest wind turbine baldes through the assembly of smaller, more accurate and easily manufactured component pieces

Brewing Biofuels

A peek inside the world’s largest energy bioscience research center

ETI & the Ecofin Research Foundation publish report Into mobilising private sector finance for CCS

Study says deployment of carbon capture and storage technology can deliver major economic benefits in the race to slash greenhouse gas emissions

Unlocking power of private sector investment - the only way to achieve sustainability goals

IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven discusses how Energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies will play a vital role in the transition to a secure and sustainable energy future

Buildings that breathe naturally – and use less energy

UK start-up Breathing Buildings rethinks natural ventilation

Princeton University start-up aims to turn carbon dioxide into fuels

Spin-out Liquid Light builds on research results that languished in the lab for 10 years – reverse combustion process produces methanol from CO2. Next step: industrial scale production.

The next step: Mixing biofuels with fossil fuels

Interview with Professor David Zilberman, professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Berkeley and principal investigator at the UC Berkeley Energy Biosciences Institute

Report says wind power is key to a sustainable energy mix in the UK

Research counters public criticism on ‘inefficiency.’ Risks of intermittent power have been overstated and projected wind power levels for 2020 do not require major system adaptation. Technology can provide solutions to tap greater amounts of wind power.

UK announces new £20M ETI project set to advance carbon capture technologies

As EU countries struggle to get CSS off the ground, a new British project is to develop and demonstrate advanced carbon capture technology for gas-fired power stations

Think Big: How to reap the greatest gains in energy and materials efficiency

Five key energy-intensive materials are biggest contributor to industrial emissions

BP technology boosts oil recovery, adding to potential energy supplies

For the first time, a new technology that could significantly increase the amount of oil that can be recovered from the UK’s largest hydrocarbon resource will be deployed

BP pledges $100M to UK-led university group for advanced materials research

A group led by the University of Manchester will focus on materials across a variety of energy and industrial applications

Metals are critical to the energy industry

Recyclable metals are becoming indispensable in energy production, storage systems and electricity-consuming products, says Armin Reller of the University of Augsburg

Bold steps needed to cut 80 per cent of CO2 emissions

The capture and storage of industrial carbon dioxide can help Europe create a low-carbon economy by 2050, but a radical overhaul of Europe’s strategy is necessary say Science|Business symposium participants

Will China take the lead in carbon capture and storage technologies?

With most of Europe’s demonstration projects on hold, it may come down to others to pioneer commercial use of carbon capture and storage and bring costs down, says Ronald Oxburgh, member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology

Students take control of carbon capture pilot plant in the heart of a university campus

Imperial College London students are taking control of a £2 million carbon capture pilot plant in the heart of the city

Demand for fuel and power is set to keep rising strongly over the next two decades

Demand for fuel and power is set to keep rising strongly over the next two decades, led by the fast growing economies of China and India, projects BP

Finnish BioRefine project begins co-operation with American institute

A Finnish liquid biofuels project has started a researcher exchange with the American Energy Biosciences Institute.

Project to take wave energy to the next level

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is looking for teams that have a broad range of skills to demonstrate a step-change in wave energy cost improvements

ETI launches major project for future roll-out of carbon capture and storage in the UK

£3M project to support the future design, operation and roll-out of cost effective carbon capture and storage systems

ETI to investigate the safe use of hydrogen

£2M hydrogen project to improve the design, safety, and operation of future systems

Energy, Education, and Democracy

Only with higher energy literacy can we mobilize the political and economic will to reduce uses of fossil fuels, a task with staggering challenges. America’s educational institutions have work to do.

Advanced biofuels for Europe

Biofuels could grow to 9% of global transport fuels by 2030 but getting there will take more research and clear-sighted government policy

12 steps to more effective energy R&D policy

A new Science|Business report summarizes the first in a series of three high-level academic policy debates, focused on the energy R&D challenge. Twelve key ideas and recommendations emerged to better leverage Europe's research potential and speed the development of new energy technologies.

Engineering Challenges at the Energy Frontiers

During a recent speech Bob Dudley, Group CEO for BP, said that he expects the oil industry to keep exploring new ways to extract fossil fuels in order to help fulfil the world's energy needs

Biofuels could provide up to 27% of world transportation fuel by 2050, says IEA report

Biofuels can be a sustainable, low-carbon fuel alternative to the transport industry, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA)

The difficulties of energy R&D

Memo to governments: Energy research is different than that in other sectors – longer term, more costly, higher hurdles to market.