Stanford News: New 'Designer Carbon' From Stanford Boosts Battery Performance

Stanford University scientists have created a new carbon material that significantly boosts the performance of energy-storage technologies. Their results are featured on the cover of the journal ACS Central Science.

"We have developed a 'designer carbon' that is both versatile and controllable," said Zhenan Bao, the senior author of the study and a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford. "Our study shows that this material has exceptional energy-storage capacity, enabling unprecedented performance in lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors."

Guardian: Five G7 Nations Increased Coal Use Over a Five-Year Period

Five of the world’s seven richest countries have increased their coal use in the last five years despite demanding that poor countries slash their carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change, new research shows.

Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and France together burned 16% more coal in 2013 than 2009 and are planning to further increase construction of coal-fired power stations. Only the U.S. and Canada of the G7 countries meeting on Monday in Berlin have reduced coal consumption since the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.

Live Mint: Indian Off-Grid Solar Company Raises $40 Million

Delhi-based solar power company Applied Solar Technologies (India) Pvt. Ltd (AST) has raised $40 million in a fresh round of funding led by Future Fund, the Australian government’s sovereign wealth fund.
AST’s existing private equity investors Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), Capricorn Investment Group and World Bank investment arm International Finance Corp. (IFC) also participated in the round.

The deal comes in the backdrop of a government initiative to raise India’s solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2022 from around 3 GW now. The government estimates the sector will need about $100 billion in investment to achieve the target.

Technology Review: Big Data Will Keep the Shale Boom Rolling

Low prices and plummeting rig counts have prompted a gusher of headlines claiming that the shale oil revolution, which by early this year boosted American oil production to nearly 10 million barrels a day, is grinding to a halt. The doomsayers, however, are missing a key parallel trend: lower prices are prompting unprecedented innovation in the oil fields, increasing production per well and slashing costs.

That’s the main reason that even as rig counts have fallen, total production has held steady or continued to rise. In the Eagle Ford, a major shale formation in south Texas, production in April was 22 percent higher than the same month in 2014, according to Platts.

National Journal: A $10 Million Pledge to Push Republicans on Climate Change

A North Carolina Republican donor is pledging to spend $10 million through a secretive spending group to push the right to act on climate change and clean energy.

Charlotte entrepreneur Jay Faison said that the climate change discussion has been owned by the left, while Republicans have been largely silent about solutions. Faison thinks Republicans risk losing ground on the issue in a general election -- and he's ready to spend to make sure that doesn't happen.