BusinessGreen: The Firm Behind Solar Impulse's Extraordinary Battery

Last month, solar-powered plane Solar Impulse landed back in Abu Dhabi, completing the final leg of its historic round-the-world trip a year and a half after first setting off.

However, the pioneering plane famously faced more than a little turbulence on the journey: It was grounded for months in Hawaii last July after its batteries overheated during the trans-Pacific leg of the journey, which lasted five days and nights and broke the record for the longest solo flight in any aircraft.

The issue, which forced the Solar Impulse team to install new batteries and wait until April 2016 to resume the rest of the tour, had occurred due to the battery temperature increasing, thanks to both a different flight profile than planned and a technical oversight where the gondolas, or engine housing, were over-insulated in relation to the outside temperature.

Now the South Korean company behind the batteries has given some insight into the incident for the first time. Speaking to BusinessGreen, Ike Hong, vice-president of Kokam's Power Solutions division, explains what happened.

The Energy Collective: Fixing a Major Flaw in Cap-and-Trade

While many Californians are spending August burning fossil fuels to travel to vacation destinations, the state legislature is negotiating with Gov. Brown over whether and how to extend the California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). The program, which began in 2013, is currently scheduled to run through 2020, so the state is now pondering what comes after 2020.

Before committing to a post-2020 plan, however, policymakers must understand why the cap-and-trade program thus far has been a disappointment, yielding allowance prices at the administrative price floor and having little impact on total state GHG emissions.  California’s price is a little below $13/ton, which translates to about 13 cents per gallon at the gas pump and raises electricity prices by less than 1 cent per kilowatt-hour.

MarketWatch: Why Oil Prices Just Stampeded Into Bull-Market Territory

Oil prices officially charged into a bull market Thursday at the prospect of an output freeze by major producers, data showing the first weekly fall in U.S. crude supplies in a month, and a decline in the dollar boosted prices.

Crude-oil prices have advanced more than 20% from their Aug. 2 low over the past several sessions, signifying a bull-market run.

September West Texas Intermediate crude climbed by $1.43, or 3.1%, to settle at $48.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is 22% above the recent settlement low of $39.51 on August 2. Prices Thursday logged a sixth-straight session gain.

DesignNews: Will EPA Relax the 54.5 MPG Mandate?

A recently released government report has raised the hopes of automakers looking for a break on future fuel economy regulations, despite the warnings of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official who said the agency is unlikely to back down on its goal of 54.5 mpg by 2025.

Chris Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told auto executives at a recent Center for Automotive Research (CAR) management event in Traverse City, Mich., that the agency has no intention of rescinding its current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) mandate. “Chris vehemently said, ‘No, we’re still going for 54.5,’” David Cole, chairman emeritus for CAR, told Design News. “He said, ‘That’s our goal, and we’re going for it, even with this recent report.’”

Politico: Oil-Rich Norway Could Become Europe's 'Green Battery'

The oil and gas exports that made Norway rich are also key contributors to climate change. Norway may have an answer for that.

The country’s mountains, lakes and rivers could eventually be turned into something like a giant battery -- storing power generated by wind farms and solar cells elsewhere in Europe, then sending electricity back when renewable output slumps.

The idea is to use excess power generated by renewables to pump water upstream behind dams. When the electricity is needed, the water would be released, rushing past turbines as the energy is turned back into useful electricity.