NBC: Richard Branson Joins Forces With Amory Lovins in Climate Fight

Richard Branson's climate change-fighting foundation is aligning forces with one of the world's most heady alternative-energy think tanks to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, the two organizations said Tuesday. First up: helping Caribbean island nations shift away from dependence on diesel fuel.

"Together we can go further, faster," Branson, the entrepreneur who founded Virgin Atlantic Airways, said in a statement announcing the alliance between his Carbon War Room and Amory Lovins' Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing market-based solutions to drive global energy use away from fossil fuels.

Executives from both organizations tapped to lead the alliance described it as a marriage between an agile and young entrepreneurial organization full of make-it-happen passion with one that is steeped in analytical rigor, insight and thought leadership.

Bloomberg:Tesla’s China President Resigns After Less Than 9 Months

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car manufacturer led by billionaire Elon Musk, said its top manager in China is leaving the company.

Tesla China President Veronica Wu has resigned, said Richard Lan, a Beijing-based company official, declining to disclose when her last day will be. Tom Zhu, who now heads the carmaker’s charging network development in China, will assume operational leadership in the country, Tesla said in an e-mailed statement. Wu didn’t immediately respond to calls and text messages to her mobile phone.

The Advertiser: BP to Close Biofuels Plant in Jennings

British Petroleum will close its biofuels plant in Jennings, the company confirmed Tuesday, as employees worldwide await the oil giant's plans for the rest of the decade, to be revealed Wednesday in London.

About 60 BP employees and some contract employees work at the Jefferson Davis facility, which BP purchased along with a second facility in San Diego from Verenium as part of a $98.3 million deal in 2010. The Jennings site, located about 35 miles west of Lafayette, was part of BP's effort to develop "next-generation cellulosic biofuel technologies from agricultural waste." In Jennings, that meant developing ethanol from sugarcane waste.

As part of the 2010 deal, BP hired the scientists and technologists connected to the Jennings plant.

NREL: Scientists Demonstrate 45.7% Efficiency for Concentrator Solar Cell

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced the demonstration of a 45.7 percent conversion efficiency for a four-junction solar cell at 234 suns concentration. This achievement represents one of the highest photovoltaic research cell efficiencies achieved across all types of solar cells.

NREL's new solar cell, which is designed for operation in a concentrating photovoltaic system where it can receive more than 1,000 suns of concentrated sunlight, greatly improves earlier designs by incorporating an additional high-quality absorber layer to achieve an ultra-high efficiency.

Phys.org: Lithium-Sulfur With a Graphene Wrapper Could Be a Promising Battery Tech

What do you get when you wrap a thin sheet of the "wonder material" graphene around a novel multifunctional sulfur electrode that combines an energy storage unit and electron/ion transfer networks? An extremely promising electrode structure design for rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries.

In the journal APL Materials, a team of researchers led by Dr. Vasant Kumar at the University of Cambridge and Professor Renjie Chen at the Beijing Institute of Technology describe their design of a multifunctional sulfur cathode at the nano level to address performance-related issues such as low efficiency and capacity degradation.