Itâ''s really just a curiosity but does provide a glimpse of how things work. Talking Points Memo, the liberal news and blogging operation, has a story this week saying that New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, an advocate of action to address climate change, is threatening to hold up two key Obama appointments over unrelated Cuba policy. Though a solid liberal, Menendez takes a hard line on Cuba and is troubled by some provisions in the presidentâ''s spending bill that could signal a softening of policy toward the post-Fidel Castro regime. As a result, heâ''s threatening to put a temporary block on Senate action to confirm Obamaâ''s science adviser and the appointee to become head of NOAAâ''along with Steven Chu, Obamaâ''s energy secretary, they are the two most eminent people nominated for top presidential positions.
IEEE Spectrum’s energy, power, and green tech blog, featuring news and analysis about the future of energy, climate, and the smart grid.
Newsletter Sign Up
Sign up for the EnergyWise newsletter and get biweekly news on the power & energy industry, green technology, and conservation delivered directly to your inbox.
ARPA-E Under Trump
Some of the work of the U.S. Department of Energy's advanced research wing fits fine with Trump's priorities, but analysts worry the next generation of solar tech could suffer
Germany's Aggressive Switch to Renewables Will Save €149 Billion
The country’s goal of lowering its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 is yielding dividends in addition to cleaner air.
Lights for the Enlightened: An Engineering Trek in the Himalayas
How a band of techie volunteers electrified Lingshed monastery and school
Why Southern China Broke Up Its Power Grid
An abundance of high-voltage DC makes big AC grids unstable
Building a Better Grid Backup
Even as the first grid-scale batteries come online, ARPA-E underwrites R&D for next-generation grid storage
What Makes a Good PV Technology?
Comparing maximum efficiency is a good place to start, but it takes more than that for a commercial breakthrough
Interactive: Record-Breaking PV Cells
The world’s leading PV research labs use this chart to track record-breaking solar cells. New champs appear as soon as they are certified
This Smart Watch Will Charge Itself Using Heat From Your Skin
Matrix Industries comes out of stealth today to say that wearables can—and should—power themselves
Flashy Recyclable Photovoltaic System Breaks Record for Solar Energy
Medium-sized, plastic silicon cell and solar concentrator photovoltaic modules achieve 5.8 efficiency
Offshore Wind Farms Don’t Harm Marine Life
Analysis suggests that crabs in Sweden are not negatively affected by Lillgrund farm
Can Synthetic Inertia from Wind Power Stabilize Grids?
Wind farms can emulate the rotational inertia that conventional power plants provide to stabilize power grids. Next-generation technology will do it even better
Arpa-E’s Grid Battery Moonshot
Tracking ARPA-E’s research grants to companies developing batteries capable of backing up a solar and wind-powered electric grid
The Challenges for Tesla's Solar Roofs
Engineers explain how Tesla must balance aesthetics, cost, performance, and safety
Arpa-E's $85 Million Plan to Build a Battery the Size of the Grid
Or something like that
Can Smarter Solar Inverters Save the Grid?
A new technique called virtual oscillator control lets solar inverters help stabilize the power grid
Quantum-Dot Coating Could Pull Solar Energy From Your Windows
Engineers inch toward the goal of achieving efficient conversion of sunlight energy
After the IC: Jack Kilby’s Solar Misadventure
The Nobel Prize winner spent a decade trying to create a household solar energy system—and failed
Perovskites Become More Stable
Two new techniques boost perovskite stability against heat, moisture and ultraviolet rays
Wind Battles Coal for Access to China’s Grid
Coal interests oppose technologies and rules that would prevent the waste of pollution-free power
Trio of Nations Aims to Hook Asia Super Grid to Grids of the World
China, South Korea, and Japan envision Northeast Asia as center of global power grid