Vox: The Tallest Wind Power Tower in the U.S., Assembled in One Hypnotizing Video
Wind power engineering is governed by a simple fact: the higher you go, the stronger and steadier the wind gets and the more power you can generate. So the evolution of wind power over the years has largely been a process of building bigger and bigger blades and perching them atop higher and higher towers.
The turbine being assembled in this video, by MidAmerican Energy, will be the tallest land-based wind turbine ever built in the U.S., with a hub height (ground to center of blades) of 115.5 meters (379 feet) and a capacity of 2,415 kW. It's not quite up to the level of the best turbines in Europe, but it's mainly meant as an experiment.
Bloomberg: How an Artificial Leaf Could One Day Power Your Car
Harvard University researchers say they've created a half-chemical, half-biological system to generate liquid fuel, using air, water and sunlight. As if that weren't enough, it takes climate-changing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere in the process.
A study published on Thursday in the journal Science advances research led by Daniel Nocera, a professor of energy at Harvard who has spent years trying to best nature’s original workhorse technology -- photosynthesis.
USA Today: Obama Team Pledges New Money for Clean Energy
Government officials from the United States and other nations are meeting this week as part of a search for ways to deliver energy that is cleaner and less expensive, and can help them meet the anti-pollution goals of the Paris Agreement.
In kicking off meetings in San Francisco, the Obama administration announced commitments by the United States and 20 international partners to double funding for clean energy research and development, from $15 billion to $30 billion annually by the year 2021.
New York Times: Nuclear Plants, Despite Safety Concerns, Gain Support as Clean Energy Sources
Just a few years ago, the United States seemed poised to say farewell to nuclear energy. No company had completed a new plant in decades, and the disaster in Fukushima, Japan in 2011 intensified public disenchantment with the technology, both here and abroad.
But as the Paris agreement on climate change has put pressure on the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, some state and federal officials have deemed nuclear energy part of the solution. They are now scrambling to save existing plants that can no longer compete economically in a market flooded with cheap natural gas.
“We’re supposed to be adding zero-carbon sources, not subtracting,” Ernest Moniz, the energy secretary, said recently at a symposium that the department convened to explore ways to improve the industry’s prospects.
MIT Technology Review: Uber Gets $3.5 Billion From a Country Where Women Can’t Drive
The government of Saudi Arabia is investing $3.5 billion in the ride-hailing giant Uber. The announcement, which came late Wednesday, makes Uber by far the richest venture-backed company. And by not only taking money from an oppressive regime but also naming Yasir Al Rumayyan -- the manager of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund -- to its board, the company ups its already impressive list of questionable business tactics to new levels.
With the Saudi investment, questions will now turn to Uber’s plans for its pile of available cash and assets, which stands at about $11 billion. Breaking into China is on its list, but it faces an uphill battle.