Tag Archives: Energy

Scientists design new solar cells to capture energy from rain

Scientists from Soochow University in China are working on a solar panel design for an efficient hybrid solar panel. The purpose of their invention is to capture energy from rain as well as traditional solar energy. They hypothesized that their graphene infused solar cells will split raindrops into positive and negative ions. With continued tests, the team hopes to get the solar panels on par with traditional solar panel efficiency. Nonetheless, their current output is fairly close to reaching this milestone. In the near future, solar panels could generate energy rain or shine. Read more [...]

Climate change: It’s a business matter too

In 1973, a group of scientists published a report linking rising CO2 with global warming and some of the resulting meteorological patterns. It was one of the first publications on what would later be called ‘climate change’. Surprisingly, the report’s authors worked at Munich Re, one of the big players in the global insurance business. “Our industry […] started monitoring this issue long before the public even noted that there was a problem,” says Peter Höppe, head of the company’s Geo Risks Research division based in Germany. Höppe will join the roundtable “Climate: facts, figures and future” at the 4th European Conference of Science Journalism. Read more [...]

Fusion: waste of research money or solution to world’s energy crisis?

The international fusion reactor ITER, located in the South of France in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, will cost an estimated 15 billion Euros over its lifetime. For critics, this project is an enormous white elephant, a colossal misdirection of resources away from other areas of science at a time when money is in short supply. Supporters say ITER can move us closer to sustainable energy, with no atmospheric pollutants, and that the one billion per year between 35 or so countries is money well spent. Read more [...]

Europe sets the tone for long-term nuclear waste management strategies

Nuclear energy is at the forefront of many scientific minds these days. The Fukushima crisis shined a spotlight on possible dangers associated with the locations of nuclear plants, as well as the logistical and human health nightmares that can occur with meltdowns. But these aren’t the only concerns about nuclear power on which scientists are focusing. Nuclear waste management is also actively perplexing engineers, policy-leaders, and decision-makers, as the concern over how to best dispose of High Level Waste (HLW) continues to grow.
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Getting closer to fusion power

Fusion power is one step closer to becoming a reality now that a new phase of construction has begun at the site of ITER, the world’s largest experimental fusion reactor. Twenty five years after the first talks of an international fusion energy project, the new works at the site in the south of France mark the beginning of preparations for the tokamak, the core part of the reactor.  Sabina Griffith at ITER told the Euroscientist that after waiting for a year for this construction to start, it has had a great effect on the staff on site.  "We can finally see ITER taking shape," she said
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