Do poplars have biofuel potential?

What began 20 years ago as an innovation to improve paper industry processes and dairy forage digestibility may now open the door to a much more energy- and cost-efficient way to convert biomass into fuel.

Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials

In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.

Claim: Using more wood for construction can slash global reliance on fossil fuels

A Yale University-led study has found that using more wood and less steel and concrete in building and bridge construction would substantially reduce global carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel consumption.

Claim: Hybrid vehicles more fuel efficient in India and China

What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in—heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways—makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

A battery that 'breathes' could power next-gen electric vehicles

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) nearly doubled in 2013, but most won't take you farther than 100 miles on one charge. To boost their range toward a tantalizing 300 miles or more, researchers are reporting new progress on a "breathing" battery that has the potential to one day replace the lithium-ion technology of today's EVs.

Driving down fuel consumption with XL hybrids

Despite their potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption, electric and hybrid cars and trucks struggled for years to find a solid customer base. Much of the reason came down to cost and convenience: Electric car batteries are expensive, and charging them requires plug-in infrastructure that’s still sparse in the United States.

Recycling with 3D printing

If you believe the 3D printer hype – and not everyone does – we’ll all soon be printing out things at home. Why, exactly, isn’t clear; do we really need more generic plastic crap that would probably be better and cheaper, anyway, all costs considered, if we just bought it off Amazon?

Optimizing solar fuel at Berkeley Labs

There’s promising news from the front on efforts to produce fuels through artificial photosynthesis. A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) shows that nearly 90-percent of the electrons generated by a hybrid material designed to store solar energy in hydrogen are being stored in the target hydrogen molecules.

Report: New catalyst could lead to cleaner energy

MIT chemists have devised a way to trap carbon dioxide and transform it into useful organic compounds, using a simple metal complex.

Energy efficiency bill wins bi-partisan support

The strangest of things took place in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday: The House of Representatives passed apparently meaningful energy-related legislation with true bipartisan support.

Warren Buffett loves wind power

The Oracle of Omaha sure loves wind power. Of course, Warren Buffett invests to make money, so the continuing wind plays by companies in his Berkshire Hathaway empire are really a sign of the sector’s economic attractiveness.

Is the South a wind-power dead zone?

t’s a common reaction among those taking their first look at the U.S.Geological Survey’s new interactive map that depicts the location of every utility-scale wind turbine in the country: Whaddup down South?

Report: Apple CEO has little patience for climate (change) deniers

A conservative think tank’s pestering about how much Apple’s sustainability efforts cost shareholders just about drove the typically reserved Tim Cook around the bend last Friday.

Improving solar power’s efficiency

First Solar is apparently inching toward manufacturing some silicon solar products, but that doesn’t mean the company’s bread and butter, cadmium-telluride (CdTe) cells, are taking a back seat. Not if this news is any indication: a new CdTe cell conversion record of 20.4 percent.

Is alga viable as a biofuel?

Lab success doesn’t always translate to real-world success. A team of Michigan State University scientists, however, has invented a new technology that increases the odds of helping algae-based biofuels cross that gap and come closer to reality.

Kite is an underwater energy device

The U.K. is putting fresh funding behind Deep Green, one of the most fascinating of the long parade of ocean-energy projects to come along.

What is the capacity of offshore wind power?

Offshore wind power has hit a rough patch in Europe. There have been troubles with basking sharks and red-throated divers, but mostly there have been challenges in making the difficult technology economically viable.

Is Nissan's Leaf the greenest of them all?

What is the most environmentally friendly car in America? That is a question that is open to a huge debate, depending upon how many different factors you consider.

Obama admin wants more desert solar

The Obama administration marches on in its quest for more big renewable energy. This week, the Department of the Interior announced its 49th and 50th approvals of utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands. Pre-Obama, there were zero such approvals.

Moving to 100% renewables - is it possible?

Mark Jacobson, the Stanford professor who specializes in designing scenarios for a massive transition to renewable energy, is at it again – in a more high-profile way than ever.