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  • Surfactants for smoother films
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-18
    Liyuan Han

    Surfactants for smoother films Surfactants for smoother films, Published online: 18 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0193-1 The efficiency of perovskite solar modules is limited by the difficulty in fabricating uniform and high-quality perovskite films. Now, a modified doctor blade method with a surfactant-controlled drying process has been shown to enable high-speed deposition of large-area and uniform perovskite films.

    更新日期:2018-06-18
  • Energy investment needs for fulfilling the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-18
    David L. McCollum, Wenji Zhou, Christoph Bertram, Harmen-Sytze de Boer, Valentina Bosetti, Sebastian Busch, Jacques Després, Laurent Drouet, Johannes Emmerling, Marianne Fay, Oliver Fricko, Shinichiro Fujimori, Matthew Gidden, Mathijs Harmsen, Daniel Huppmann, Gokul Iyer, Volker Krey, Elmar Kriegler, Claire Nicolas, Shonali Pachauri, Simon Parkinson, Miguel Poblete-Cazenave, Peter Rafaj, Narasimha Rao, Julie Rozenberg, Andreas Schmitz, Wolfgang Schoepp, Detlef van Vuuren, Keywan Riahi

    Low-carbon investments are necessary for driving the energy system transformation that is called for by both the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. Improving understanding of the scale and nature of these investments under diverging technology and policy futures is therefore of great importance to decision makers. Here, using six global modelling frameworks, we show that the pronounced reallocation of the investment portfolio required to transform the energy system will not be initiated by the current suite of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions. Charting a course toward ‘well below 2 °C’ instead sees low-carbon investments overtaking fossil investments globally by around 2025 or before and growing thereafter. Pursuing the 1.5 °C target demands a marked upscaling in low-carbon capital beyond that of a 2 °C-consistent future. Actions consistent with an energy transformation would increase the costs of achieving the goals of energy access and food security, but reduce the costs of achieving air-quality goals.

    更新日期:2018-06-18
  • Fuel choice and fuel demand elasticities in markets with flex-fuel vehicles
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-11
    Cristian Huse

    The purchase of multifuel vehicles (MFVs) has been incentivized by policies across the globe. Such vehicles are able to operate on more than one source of energy, so they introduce fuel (or energy) choice as one additional dimension consumers decide about. As fuels differ in terms of carbon emissions, this choice has environmental effects. Using 12 years of monthly Swedish data, here I show that the majority of MFV drivers purchase petrol when it is priced at parity with ethanol. Through policy simulations, I document that fossil fuel taxes have limited success in making drivers switch to alternative fuels and can generate economic distortions. The findings question the cost-effectiveness of programmes to incentivize the purchase of MFVs that ignore the fuel choice dimension and highlight the importance of accounting for fuel choice in the analysis of public policy and emerging technologies.

    更新日期:2018-06-12
  • Fuelling behaviour change
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-11
    Benjamin Leard

    Fuelling behaviour change Fuelling behaviour change, Published online: 11 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0182-4 The effectiveness of fuel taxation towards reducing gasoline usage in vehicles has been a subject of debate. Using data from Sweden, which has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the world, research now demonstrates a potential consumer preference for gasoline even at price parity with ethanol.

    更新日期:2018-06-12
  • Approaching the capacity limit of lithium cobalt oxide in lithium ion batteries via lanthanum and aluminium doping
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-11
    Qi Liu, Xin Su, Dan Lei, Yan Qin, Jianguo Wen, Fangmin Guo, Yimin A. Wu, Yangchun Rong, Ronghui Kou, Xianghui Xiao, Frederic Aguesse, Javier Bareño, Yang Ren, Wenquan Lu, Yangxing Li

    Lithium cobalt oxides (LiCoO2) possess a high theoretical specific capacity of 274 mAh g–1. However, cycling LiCoO2-based batteries to voltages greater than 4.35 V versus Li/Li+ causes significant structural instability and severe capacity fade. Consequently, commercial LiCoO2 exhibits a maximum capacity of only ~165 mAh g–1. Here, we develop a doping technique to tackle this long-standing issue of instability and thus increase the capacity of LiCoO2. La and Al are concurrently doped into Co-containing precursors, followed by high-temperature calcination with lithium carbonate. The dopants are found to reside in the crystal lattice of LiCoO2, where La works as a pillar to increase the c axis distance and Al as a positively charged centre, facilitating Li+ diffusion, stabilizing the structure and suppressing the phase transition during cycling, even at a high cut-off voltage of 4.5 V. This doped LiCoO2 displays an exceptionally high capacity of 190 mAh g–1, cyclability with 96% capacity retention over 50 cycles and significantly enhanced rate capability.

    更新日期:2018-06-12
  • Fermenting change
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08
    James Gallagher

    Fermenting change Fermenting change, Published online: 08 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0188-y Fermenting change

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • Core–double shell
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08
    Changjun Zhang

    Core–double shell Core–double shell, Published online: 08 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0186-0 Core–double shell

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • Enabling reliability assessments of pre-commercial perovskite photovoltaics with lessons learned from industrial standards
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08
    Henry J. Snaith, Peter Hacke

    Photovoltaic modules are expected to operate in the field for more than 25 years, so reliability assessment is critical for the commercialization of new photovoltaic technologies. In early development stages, understanding and addressing the device degradation mechanisms are the priorities. However, any technology targeting large-scale deployment must eventually pass industry-standard qualification tests and undergo reliability testing to validate the module lifetime. In this Perspective, we review the methodologies used to assess the reliability of established photovoltaics technologies and to develop standardized qualification tests. We present the stress factors and stress levels for degradation mechanisms currently identified in pre-commercial perovskite devices, along with engineering concepts for mitigation of those degradation modes. Recommendations for complete and transparent reporting of stability tests are given, to facilitate future inter-laboratory comparisons and to further the understanding of field-relevant degradation mechanisms, which will benefit the development of accelerated stress tests.

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • Understanding the cell-to-module efficiency gap in Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 photovoltaics scale-up
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08
    Veronica Bermudez, Alejandro Perez-Rodriguez

    Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 (CIGS) solar cells show record efficiencies comparable to those of crystalline Si-based technologies. Their industrial module production costs are also comparable to those of Si photovoltaics in spite of their much lower production volume. However, the competitiveness of CIGS is compromised by the difference in performance between cell and module scales, known as the cell-to-module efficiency gap, which is significantly higher than in competing industrial photovoltaic technologies. In this Review, we quantify the main cell-to-module efficiency loss mechanisms and discuss the various strategies explored in academia and industry to reduce the efficiency gap: new transparent conductive oxides, hybrid modularization approaches and the use of wide-bandgap solar absorbers in the 1.4–1.5 eV range. To implement these strategies, research gaps relating to various device layers need to be filled.

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • When it pays to be smart
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08
    Nicky Dean

    When it pays to be smart When it pays to be smart, Published online: 08 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0189-x When it pays to be smart

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • When enough is not enough
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08
    Fouad Khan

    When enough is not enough When enough is not enough, Published online: 08 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0187-z When enough is not enough

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • Towards large-scale deployment of bifacial photovoltaics
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08
    R. Kopecek, J. Libal

    Towards large-scale deployment of bifacial photovoltaics Towards large-scale deployment of bifacial photovoltaics, Published online: 08 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0178-0 Low photovoltaic module costs imply that increasing the energy yield per module area is now a priority. We argue that modules harvesting sunlight from both sides will strongly penetrate the market but that more field data, better simulation tools and international measurement standards are needed to overcome perceived investment risks.

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • Photovoltaics blooms and spreads
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-08

    Photovoltaics blooms and spreads Photovoltaics blooms and spreads, Published online: 08 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0185-1 The growth of photovoltaics in electricity markets and in research laboratories brings exciting challenges in scaling-up innovative technologies and deploying them for a variety of applications.

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • A biomimetic high-capacity phenazine-based anolyte for aqueous organic redox flow batteries
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-04
    Aaron Hollas, Xiaoliang Wei, Vijayakumar Murugesan, Zimin Nie, Bin Li, David Reed, Jun Liu, Vincent Sprenkle, Wei Wang

    Aqueous soluble organic (ASO) redox-active materials have recently attracted significant attention as alternatives to traditional transition metal ions in redox flow batteries (RFB). However, reported reversible capacities of ASO are often substantially lower than their theoretical values based on the reported maximum solubilities. Here, we describe a phenazine-based ASO compound with an exceptionally high reversible capacity that exceeds 90% of its theoretical value. By strategically modifying the phenazine molecular structure, we demonstrate an increased solubility from near-zero with pristine phenazine to as much as 1.8 M while also shifting its redox potential by more than 400 mV. An RFB based on a phenazine derivative (7,8-dihydroxyphenazine-2-sulfonic acid) at its near-saturation concentration exhibits an operating voltage of 1.4 V with a reversible anolyte capacity of 67 Ah l−1 and a capacity retention of 99.98% per cycle over 500 cycles.

    更新日期:2018-06-05
  • A low energy demand scenario for meeting the 1.5 °C target and sustainable development goals without negative emission technologies
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-04
    Arnulf Grubler, Charlie Wilson, Nuno Bento, Benigna Boza-Kiss, Volker Krey, David L. McCollum, Narasimha D. Rao, Keywan Riahi, Joeri Rogelj, Simon Stercke, Jonathan Cullen, Stefan Frank, Oliver Fricko, Fei Guo, Matt Gidden, Petr Havlík, Daniel Huppmann, Gregor Kiesewetter, Peter Rafaj, Wolfgang Schoepp, Hugo Valin

    Scenarios that limit global warming to 1.5 °C describe major transformations in energy supply and ever-rising energy demand. Here, we provide a contrasting perspective by developing a narrative of future change based on observable trends that results in low energy demand. We describe and quantify changes in activity levels and energy intensity in the global North and global South for all major energy services. We project that global final energy demand by 2050 reduces to 245 EJ, around 40% lower than today, despite rises in population, income and activity. Using an integrated assessment modelling framework, we show how changes in the quantity and type of energy services drive structural change in intermediate and upstream supply sectors (energy and land use). Down-sizing the global energy system dramatically improves the feasibility of a low-carbon supply-side transformation. Our scenario meets the 1.5 °C climate target as well as many sustainable development goals, without relying on negative emission technologies.

    更新日期:2018-06-05
  • Coupling orientation and mediation strategies for efficient electron transfer in hybrid biofuel cells
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-04
    Kamal Elouarzaki, Daojian Cheng, Adrian C. Fisher, Jong-Min Lee

    Enzymes are promising electrocatalysts for electron transfer (ET) in many biological processes. Strategies to enhance ET between enzymes and electroactive surfaces include orientation and immobilization of the enzymes and electron mediation. Here, we develop a strategy to couple orientation and electron mediation on electrodes based on carbon nanotubes. This is achieved by the synthesis of a redox mediator that contains an enzyme-orientation site (pyrene), an electron-carrier redox mediator (2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS)) and an electropolymerizable monomer (pyrrole). The coupling of an enzymatic orientation and a mediated ET in the same chemical structure (pyrrole–ABTS–pyrene (pyrr–ABTS–pyr)) provides a much-improved performance in the bioelectrocatalysis. We demonstrate two fuel cells for the synthesized redox mediator. In a proton-exchange membrane hydrogen/air fuel cell and in a membraneless fuel cell, the pyrr–ABTS–pyr biocathode provides a power density of 1.07 mW cm−2 and 7.9 mW cm−2, respectively. The principle of coupling an enzyme orientation and a redox mediator allows a great variety of mediators to be engineered and provides vast possibilities for the development of fuel cells.

    更新日期:2018-06-05
  • Approaching saturation limits
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-04
    Daniel P. Tabor

    Approaching saturation limitsApproaching saturation limits, Published online: 04 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0169-1The energy density of aqueous organic flow batteries is generally low primarily because of the low solubility or instability of charge-storing organic molecules. Now, a phenazine-derived molecule is shown to have both high solubility and long-term stability, leading to an exceptionally high capacity in an aqueous flow battery.

    更新日期:2018-06-05
  • Electron highways
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-06-04
    Huajie Yin, Zhiyong Tang

    Electron highwaysElectron highways, Published online: 04 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0183-3The performance of enzymatic biofuel cells is greatly hindered by the poor electron transfer between enzyme catalysts and electrode surfaces. Now, an efficient electrical connection is made by coupling conventional direct and mediated electron transfer mechanisms, leading to much improved power density and stability.

    更新日期:2018-06-05
  • The next phase of the energy transition and its implications for research and policy
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-28
    Jochen Markard

    In many places, the electricity sector is transitioning towards greater share of renewable energy technologies. In the initial phase of the transition, a primary concern for research and policy was to establish renewables as technically and economically viable options. Today, the situation is different: renewables are diffusing rapidly in many electricity grids, thereby generating major changes for existing technologies, organizations and infrastructures. In this new phase of the energy transition, we do not just witness an acceleration of earlier transition dynamics, but also qualitatively new phenomena. These include a complex interaction of multiple technologies, the decline of established business models and technologies, intensified economic and political struggles of key actors such as utility companies and industry associations, and major challenges for the overall functioning and performance of the electricity sector (for example, when integrating renewables). Drawing on a transition studies perspective, this paper compares the two phases and discusses implications for research and policymaking.

    更新日期:2018-05-29
  • Dismissive and deceptive car dealerships create barriers to electric vehicle adoption at the point of sale
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-21
    Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens, Lance Noel, Benjamin K. Sovacool

    As most consumers do not have pre-existing knowledge of electric vehicles (EVs), and current market conditions favour petrol and diesel vehicles, car dealership experiences may strongly influence EV purchasing decisions. Here, we show that car dealerships pose a significant barrier at the point of sale due to a perceived lack of business case viability in relation to petrol and diesel vehicles. In 126 shopping experiences at 82 car dealerships across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, we find that dealers were dismissive of EVs, misinformed shoppers on vehicle specifications, omitted EVs from the sales conversation and strongly oriented customers towards petrol and diesel vehicle options. Dealers' technological orientation, willingness to sell and displayed knowledge of EVs were the main contributors to likely purchase intentions. These findings combined with expert interviews suggest that government and industry signalling affect sales strategies and purchasing trends. Policy and business strategies that address barriers at the point of sale are needed to accelerate EV adoption.

    更新日期:2018-05-22
  • Incentivize negative emissions responsibly
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-21
    Rob Bellamy

    Incentivize negative emissions responsiblyIncentivize negative emissions responsibly, Published online: 21 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0156-6Nation states need to incentivize negative emissions technologies if they are to take the decarbonization of whole energy systems seriously. This incentivization must account for public values and interests in relation to which technologies to incentivize, how they should be incentivized and how they should be governed once incentivized.

    更新日期:2018-05-22
  • Impact of myopic decision-making and disruptive events in power systems planning
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-21
    Clara F. Heuberger, Iain Staffell, Nilay Shah, Niall Mac Dowell

    The delayed deployment of low-carbon energy technologies is impeding energy system decarbonization. The continuing debate about the cost-competitiveness of low-carbon technologies has led to a strategy of waiting for a ‘unicorn technology’ to appear. Here, we show that myopic strategies that rely on the eventual manifestation of a unicorn technology result in either an oversized and underutilized power system when decarbonization objectives are achieved, or one that is far from being decarbonized, even if the unicorn technology becomes available. Under perfect foresight, disruptive technology innovation can reduce total system cost by 13%. However, a strategy of waiting for a unicorn technology that never appears could result in 61% higher cumulative total system cost by mid-century compared to deploying currently available low-carbon technologies early on.

    更新日期:2018-05-22
  • Dealerships are a tipping point
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-21
    Jennifer Lynes

    Dealerships are a tipping pointDealerships are a tipping point, Published online: 21 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0173-5Many consumers encounter electric vehicles for the first time at car dealerships when they are looking to buy a new vehicle. Now, research shows that interactions with sales personnel have an important and often detrimental influence on the purchase of electric vehicles, presenting a critical barrier to their wide-spread adoption.

    更新日期:2018-05-22
  • Quantifying the rural residential energy transition in China from 1992 to 2012 through a representative national survey
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    S. Tao, M. Y. Ru, W. Du, X. Zhu, Q. R. Zhong, B. G. Li, G. F. Shen, X. L. Pan, W. J. Meng, Y. L. Chen, H. Z. Shen, N. Lin, S. Su, S. J. Zhuo, T. B. Huang, Y. Xu, X. Yun, J. F. Liu, X. L. Wang, W. X. Liu, H. F. Cheng, D. Q. Zhu

    Rural household energy use for cooking and heating is an important source of air pollutants in China, as it affects both human health and climate change. However, the magnitude of rural household energy use, especially during the recent rapid socioeconomic transition period, has not been well quantified. Here, we present first-hand nationwide data from a 34,489-household energy-mix survey and a 1,670-household fuel-weighing campaign. We found that the consumption of wood and crop residues in rural China decreased by 63% and 51%, respectively, from 1992 to 2012, and these decreases were much greater than the 15% and 8%, respectively, reported by the International Energy Agency and Food and Agriculture Organization. The rapid residential energy transition over these two decades was primarily driven by the rapid socioeconomic development. One important implication of this transition is the significant reduction in the emissions of major air pollutants, especially incomplete combustion products leading to significant impacts on health and climate.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • Surfactant-controlled ink drying enables high-speed deposition of perovskite films for efficient photovoltaic modules
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    Yehao Deng, Xiaopeng Zheng, Yang Bai, Qi Wang, Jingjing Zhao, Jinsong Huang

    Novel photovoltaic technologies such as perovskites hold the promise of a reduced levelized cost of electricity, but the low-cost potential depends on the ability to scale-up solution-based deposition. So far, complex fluid dynamics have limited the solution deposition of uniform pinhole-free organic–inorganic perovskite thin films over large areas. Here, we show that very small amounts (tens of parts per million) of surfactants (for example, l-α-Phosphatidylcholine) dramatically alter the fluid drying dynamics and increase the adhesion of the perovskite ink to the underlying non-wetting charge transport layer. The additives enable blading of smooth perovskite films at a coating rate of 180 m h–1 with root-mean-square roughness of 14.5 nm over 1 cm. The surfactants also passivate charge traps, resulting in efficiencies over 20% for small-area solar cells. Fast blading in air of perovskite films results in stabilized module efficiencies of 15.3% and 14.6% measured at aperture areas of 33.0 cm2 and 57.2 cm2, respectively.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • Taking advantage of modern turbines
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    Robert Thresher

    Taking advantage of modern turbines Taking advantage of modern turbines, Published online: 14 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0168-2 Wind facilities have generally deployed turbines of the same power and height in regular uniform arrays. Now, the modern generation of turbines, with customer-selectable tower heights and larger rotors, can significantly increase wind energy’s economic potential using less land to generate cheaper electricity.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • Effects of turbine technology and land use on wind power resource potential
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    Erkka Rinne, Hannele Holttinen, Juha Kiviluoma, Simo Rissanen

    Estimates of wind power potential are relevant for decision-making in energy policy and business. Such estimates are affected by several uncertain assumptions, most significantly related to wind turbine technology and land use. Here, we calculate the technical and economic onshore wind power potentials with the aim to evaluate the impact of such assumptions using the case-study area of Finland as an example. We show that the assumptions regarding turbine technology and land use policy are highly significant for the potential estimate. Modern turbines with lower specific ratings and greater hub heights improve the wind power potential considerably, even though it was assumed that the larger rotors decrease the installation density and increase the turbine investment costs. New technology also decreases the impact of strict land use policies. Uncertainty in estimating the cost of wind power technology limits the accuracy of assessing economic wind power potential.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • Organic agents offer innovation
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    Christopher W. Jones

    Organic agents offer innovation Organic agents offer innovation, Published online: 14 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0170-8 Capturing CO2 directly from the air could lead to negative emissions, but more efficient technologies are still required. Now, researchers use a multi-stage cycle based on amino acids and organic salts to capture CO2 from air, which can be released with concentrated solar power.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • Improved water electrolysis using magnetic heating of FeC–Ni core–shell nanoparticles
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    Christiane Niether, Stéphane Faure, Alexis Bordet, Jonathan Deseure, Marian Chatenet, Julian Carrey, Bruno Chaudret, Alain Rouet

    Water electrolysis enables the storage of renewable electricity via the chemical bonds of hydrogen. However, proton-exchange-membrane electrolysers are impeded by the high cost and low availability of their noble-metal electrocatalysts, whereas alkaline electrolysers operate at a low power density. Here, we demonstrate that electrocatalytic reactions relevant for water splitting can be improved by employing magnetic heating of noble-metal-free catalysts. Using nickel-coated iron carbide nanoparticles, which are prone to magnetic heating under high-frequency alternating magnetic fields, the overpotential (at 20 mA cm−2) required for oxygen evolution in an alkaline water-electrolysis flow-cell was decreased by 200 mV and that for hydrogen evolution was decreased by 100 mV. This enhancement of oxygen-evolution kinetics is equivalent to a rise of the cell temperature to ~200 °C, but in practice it increased by 5 °C only. This work suggests that, in the future, water splitting near the equilibrium voltage could be possible at room temperature, which is currently beyond reach in the classic approach to water electrolysis.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • A magnetic boost
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    Bora Seo, Sang Hoon Joo

    A magnetic boost A magnetic boost, Published online: 14 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0157-5 Various approaches have been adopted to enhance the performance of alkaline water electrolysers, such as improving catalyst efficiency or increasing operating temperatures. Now, magnetic hyperthermia is demonstrated as another potential route to enhance overall water splitting catalytic activity.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • A matter of size
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-09
    James Gallagher

    A matter of size A matter of size, Published online: 09 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0162-8 A matter of size

    更新日期:2018-05-09
  • Barriers to energy-efficiency
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-09
    Jenn Richler

    Barriers to energy-efficiency Barriers to energy-efficiency, Published online: 09 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0163-7 Barriers to energy-efficiency

    更新日期:2018-05-09
  • Making savings count
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-09
    Fouad Khan

    Making savings count Making savings count, Published online: 09 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0161-9 Making savings count

    更新日期:2018-05-09
  • Long lasting
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-09
    Changjun Zhang

    Long lasting Long lasting, Published online: 09 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0160-x Long lasting

    更新日期:2018-05-09
  • Scale matters
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-09

    Scale matters Scale matters, Published online: 09 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0164-6 Cities appear to be progressing in leaps and bounds towards a renewable energy world, but their actions may soon start to lead to increasing friction with higher levels of governance.

    更新日期:2018-05-09
  • A framework for evaluating geographic disparities in energy transition vulnerability
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-07
    Sanya Carley, Tom P. Evans, Michelle Graff, David M. Konisky

    The path towards decarbonization promises many societal benefits such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions and new technological innovation. The adverse effects of policies that are helping to facilitate the energy transition, such as price spikes or job displacement, however, are not evenly spread across the population, and some individuals and communities are more vulnerable to possible adverse impacts than others. Here, we adapt a framework for conceptualizing vulnerability from the climate change adaptation literature to the energy context. We construct the dimensions of the framework, provide an illustration using the case of the renewable portfolio standard, generate a vulnerability score measure and map vulnerability across US counties. Our analysis shows that this framework can be used to identify geographical disparities, and should be further developed in future research to provide deeper insights about a just transition.

    更新日期:2018-05-08
  • Direct air capture of CO2 via aqueous-phase absorption and crystalline-phase release using concentrated solar power
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-07
    Flavien M. Brethomé, Neil J. Williams, Charles A. Seipp, Michelle K. Kidder, Radu Custelcean

    Using negative emissions technologies for the net removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere could provide a pathway to limit global temperature rises. Direct air capture of carbon dioxide offers the prospect of permanently lowering the atmospheric CO2 concentration, providing that economical and energy-efficient technologies can be developed and deployed on a large scale. Here, we report an approach to direct air capture, at the laboratory scale, using mostly off-the-shelf materials and equipment. First, CO2 absorption is achieved with readily available and environmentally friendly aqueous amino acid solutions (glycine and sarcosine) using a household humidifier. The CO2-loaded solutions are then reacted with a simple guanidine compound, which crystallizes as a very insoluble carbonate salt and regenerates the amino acid sorbent. Finally, effective CO2 release and near-quantitative regeneration of the guanidine compound are achieved by relatively mild heating of the carbonate crystals using concentrated solar power.

    更新日期:2018-05-08
  • Author Correction: Challenges and gaps for energy planning models in the developing-world context
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Kumar Biswajit Debnath, Monjur Mourshed

    Author Correction: Challenges and gaps for energy planning models in the developing-world context Author Correction: Challenges and gaps for energy planning models in the developing-world context, Published online: 03 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0155-7 Author Correction: Challenges and gaps for energy planning models in the developing-world context

    更新日期:2018-05-03
  • Author Correction: III–V-on-silicon solar cells reaching 33% photoconversion efficiency in two-terminal configuration
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Romain Cariou, Jan Benick, Frank Feldmann, Oliver Höhn, Hubert Hauser, Paul Beutel, Nasser Razek, Markus Wimplinger, Benedikt Bläsi, David Lackner, Martin Hermle, Gerald Siefer, Stefan W. Glunz, Andreas W. Bett, Frank Dimroth

    Author Correction: III–V-on-silicon solar cells reaching 33% photoconversion efficiency in two-terminal configuration Author Correction: III–V-on-silicon solar cells reaching 33% photoconversion efficiency in two-terminal configuration, Published online: 03 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0165-5 Author Correction: III–V-on-silicon solar cells reaching 33% photoconversion efficiency in two-terminal configuration

    更新日期:2018-05-03
  • Publisher Correction: Predicting unpredictability
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Steven J. Davis

    Publisher Correction: Predicting unpredictability Publisher Correction: Predicting unpredictability, Published online: 03 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0149-5 Publisher Correction: Predicting unpredictability

    更新日期:2018-05-03
  • When every cent counts
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Renate J. Egan, Nathan L. Chang

    When every cent counts When every cent counts, Published online: 30 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0148-6 Photovoltaic electricity is increasingly competitive with conventional electricity generation, and cost analyses are now being developed for early-stage technologies. A recent techno-economic analysis looks at thin-film tandem photovoltaics to inform research directions.

    更新日期:2018-05-01
  • Impacts of fleet types and charging modes for electric vehicles on emissions under different penetrations of wind power
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Xinyu Chen, Hongcai Zhang, Zhiwei Xu, Chris P. Nielsen, Michael B. McElroy, Jiajun Lv

    Current Chinese policy promotes the development of both electricity-propelled vehicles and carbon-free sources of power. Concern has been expressed that electric vehicles on average may emit more CO2 and conventional pollutants in China. Here, we explore the environmental implications of investments in different types of electric vehicle (public buses, taxis and private light-duty vehicles) and different modes (fast or slow) for charging under a range of different wind penetration levels. To do this, we take Beijing in 2020 as a case study and employ hourly simulation of vehicle charging behaviour and power system operation. Assuming the slow-charging option, we find that investments in electric private light-duty vehicles can result in an effective reduction in the emission of CO2 at several levels of wind penetration. The fast-charging option, however, is counter-productive. Electrifying buses and taxis offers the most effective option to reduce emissions of NO x , a major precursor for air pollution.

    更新日期:2018-05-01
  • Economic viability of thin-film tandem solar modules in the United States
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Sarah E. Sofia, Jonathan P. Mailoa, Dirk N. Weiss, Billy J. Stanbery, Tonio Buonassisi, I. Marius Peters

    Tandem solar cells are more efficient but more expensive per unit area than established single-junction (SJ) solar cells. To understand when specific tandem architectures should be utilized, we evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different II–VI-based thin-film tandem solar cells and compare them to the SJ subcells. Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and energy yield are calculated for four technologies: industrial cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide, and their hypothetical two-terminal (series-connected subcells) and four-terminal (electrically independent subcells) tandems, assuming record SJ quality subcells. Different climatic conditions and scales (residential and utility scale) are considered. We show that, for US residential systems with current balance-of-system costs, the four-terminal tandem has the lowest LCOE because of its superior energy yield, even though it has the highest US$ per watt (US$ W–1) module cost. For utility-scale systems, the lowest LCOE architecture is the cadmium telluride single junction, the lowest US$ W–1 module. The two-terminal tandem requires decreased subcell absorber costs to reach competitiveness over the four-terminal one.

    更新日期:2018-05-01
  • Planning for electric vehicle needs by coupling charging profiles with urban mobility
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Yanyan Xu, Serdar Çolak, Emre C. Kara, Scott J. Moura, Marta C. González

    The rising adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) leads to the temporal alignment of their electricity and mobility demands. However, mobility demand has not yet been considered in electricity planning and management. Here, we present a method to estimate individual mobility of PEV drivers at fine temporal and spatial resolution, by integrating three unique datasets of mobile phone activity of 1.39 million Bay Area residents, census data and the PEV drivers survey data. Through coupling the uncovered patterns of PEV mobility with the charging activity of PEVs in 580,000 session profiles obtained in the same region, we recommend changes in PEV charging times of commuters at their work stations and shave the pronounced peak in power demand. Informed by the tariff of electricity, we calculate the monetary gains to incentivize the adoption of the recommendations. These results open avenues for planning for the future of coupled transportation and electricity needs using personalized data.

    更新日期:2018-05-01
  • A manganese–hydrogen battery with potential for grid-scale energy storage
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Wei Chen, Guodong Li, Allen Pei, Yuzhang Li, Lei Liao, Hongxia Wang, Jiayu Wan, Zheng Liang, Guangxu Chen, Hao Zhang, Jiangyan Wang, Yi Cui

    Batteries including lithium-ion, lead–acid, redox-flow and liquid-metal batteries show promise for grid-scale storage, but they are still far from meeting the grid's storage needs such as low cost, long cycle life, reliable safety and reasonable energy density for cost and footprint reduction. Here, we report a rechargeable manganese–hydrogen battery, where the cathode is cycled between soluble Mn2+ and solid MnO2 with a two-electron reaction, and the anode is cycled between H2 gas and H2O through well-known catalytic reactions of hydrogen evolution and oxidation. This battery chemistry exhibits a discharge voltage of ~1.3 V, a rate capability of 100 mA cm−2 (36 s of discharge) and a lifetime of more than 10,000 cycles without decay. We achieve a gravimetric energy density of ~139 Wh kg−1 (volumetric energy density of ~210 Wh l−1), with the theoretical gravimetric energy density of ~174 Wh kg−1 (volumetric energy density of ~263 Wh l−1) in a 4 M MnSO4 electrolyte. The manganese–hydrogen battery involves low-cost abundant materials and has the potential to be scaled up for large-scale energy storage.

    更新日期:2018-05-01
  • Death by a thousand charges
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Martin Beuse

    Death by a thousand charges Death by a thousand charges, Published online: 23 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0151-y Battery charging and discharging regimes mostly attempt to maximize potential profit by following price signals. Combining a technical understanding of batteries with financial theory, researchers now present a framework that allows optimization of economic benefits considering both potential revenues and battery degradation.

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • An intertemporal decision framework for electrochemical energy storage management
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Guannan He, Qixin Chen, Panayiotis Moutis, Soummya Kar, Jay F. Whitacre

    Dispatchable energy storage is necessary to enable renewable-based power systems that have zero or very low carbon emissions. The inherent degradation behaviour of electrochemical energy storage (EES) is a major concern for both EES operational decisions and EES economic assessments. Here, we propose a decision framework that addresses the intertemporal trade-offs in terms of EES degradation by deriving, implementing and optimizing two metrics: the marginal benefit of usage and the average benefit of usage. These metrics are independent of the capital cost of the EES system, and, as such, separate the value of EES use from the initial cost, which provides a different perspective on storage valuation and operation. Our framework is proved to produce the optimal solution for EES life-cycle profit maximization. We show that the proposed framework offers effective ways to assess the economic values of EES, to make investment decisions for various applications and to inform related subsidy policies.

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Designing low-carbon power systems for Great Britain in 2050 that are robust to the spatiotemporal and inter-annual variability of weather
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Marianne Zeyringer, James Price, Birgit Fais, Pei-Hao Li, Ed Sharp

    The design of cost-effective power systems with high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE) technologies requires a modelling approach that simultaneously represents the whole energy system combined with the spatiotemporal and inter-annual variability of VRE. Here, we soft-link a long-term energy system model, which explores new energy system configurations from years to decades, with a high spatial and temporal resolution power system model that captures VRE variability from hours to years. Applying this methodology to Great Britain for 2050, we find that VRE-focused power system design is highly sensitive to the inter-annual variability of weather and that planning based on a single year can lead to operational inadequacy and failure to meet long-term decarbonization objectives. However, some insights do emerge that are relatively stable to weather-year. Reinforcement of the transmission system consistently leads to a decrease in system costs while electricity storage and flexible generation, needed to integrate VRE into the system, are generally deployed close to demand centres.

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Embedded enzymes catalyse capture
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Sandra Kentish

    Embedded enzymes catalyse capture Embedded enzymes catalyse capture, Published online: 23 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0146-8 Membrane technologies for carbon capture can offer economic and environmental advantages over conventional amine-based absorption, but can suffer from limited gas flux and selectivity to CO2. Now, a membrane based on enzymes embedded in hydrophilic pores is shown to exhibit combined flux and selectivity that challenges the state of the art.

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • High fabrication yield organic tandem photovoltaics combining vacuum- and solution-processed subcells with 15% efficiency
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Xiaozhou Che, Yongxi Li, Yue Qu, Stephen R. Forrest

    Multijunction solar cells are effective for increasing the power conversion efficiency beyond that of single-junction cells. Indeed, the highest solar cell efficiencies have been achieved using two or more subcells to adequately cover the solar spectrum. However, the efficiencies of organic multijunction solar cells are ultimately limited by the lack of high-performance, near-infrared absorbing organic subcells within the stack. Here, we demonstrate a tandem cell with an efficiency of 15.0 ± 0.3% (for 2 mm2 cells) that combines a solution-processed non-fullerene-acceptor-based infrared absorbing subcell on a visible-absorbing fullerene-based subcell grown by vacuum thermal evaporation. The hydrophilic–hydrophobic interface within the charge-recombination zone that connects the two subcells leads to >95% fabrication yield among more than 130 devices, and with areas up to 1 cm2. The ability to stack solution-based on vapour-deposited cells provides significant flexibility in design over the current, all-vapour-deposited multijunction structures.

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Author Correction: Decoupling electron and ion storage and the path from interfacial storage to artificial electrodes
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Chia-Chin Chen, Joachim Maier

    Author Correction: Decoupling electron and ion storage and the path from interfacial storage to artificial electrodes Author Correction: Decoupling electron and ion storage and the path from interfacial storage to artificial electrodes, Published online: 23 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0154-8 Author Correction: Decoupling electron and ion storage and the path from interfacial storage to artificial electrodes

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Political enablers of energy subsidy reform in Middle Eastern oil exporters
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Jim Krane

    Oil-exporting states in the Middle East and North Africa have launched reforms of long-standing energy subsidies thought to comprise an important source of legitimacy for autocratic regimes. The actions challenge enduring academic assumptions of the illegitimacy of retrenchment in polities underwritten by hydrocarbon rents. Here, I argue that a series of converging trends provided political cover for the reforms, including fiscal stress from low world oil prices, escalating regional instability, international environmental pressure, as well as untenable growth in domestic consumption of exportable commodities. While the reforms signal an important shift in state–society relations, the new policies appear to be designed to update — rather than jettison — rent-based autocratic governance.

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Interpreting energy scenarios
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-23
    Gokul Iyer, James Edmonds

    Interpreting energy scenarios Interpreting energy scenarios, Published online: 23 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0145-9 Quantitative scenarios from energy–economic models inform decision-making about uncertain futures. Now, research shows the different ways these scenarios are subsequently used by users not involved in their initial development. In the absence of clear guidance from modellers, users may place too much or too little confidence in scenario assumptions and results.

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Current status and challenges for automotive battery production technologies
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-12
    Arno Kwade, Wolfgang Haselrieder, Ruben Leithoff, Armin Modlinger, Franz Dietrich, Klaus Droeder

    Production technology for automotive lithium-ion battery (LIB) cells and packs has improved considerably in the past five years. However, the transfer of developments in materials, cell design and processes from lab scale to production scale remains a challenge due to the large number of consecutive process steps and the significant impact of material properties, electrode compositions and cell designs on processes. This requires an in-depth understanding of the individual production processes and their interactions, and pilot-scale investigations into process parameter selection and prototype cell production. Furthermore, emerging process concepts must be developed at lab and pilot scale that reduce production costs and improve cell performance. Here, we present an introductory summary of the state-of-the-art production technologies for automotive LIBs. We then discuss the key relationships between process, quality and performance, as well as explore the impact of materials and processes on scale and cost. Finally, future developments and innovations that aim to overcome the main challenges are presented.

    更新日期:2018-04-13
  • Performance and cost of materials for lithium-based rechargeable automotive batteries
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-12
    Richard Schmuch, Ralf Wagner, Gerhard Hörpel, Tobias Placke, Martin Winter

    It is widely accepted that for electric vehicles to be accepted by consumers and to achieve wide market penetration, ranges of at least 500 km at an affordable cost are required. Therefore, significant improvements to lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in terms of energy density and cost along the battery value chain are required, while other key performance indicators, such as lifetime, safety, fast-charging ability and low-temperature performance, need to be enhanced or at least sustained. Here, we review advances and challenges in LIB materials for automotive applications, in particular with respect to cost and performance parameters. The production processes of anode and cathode materials are discussed, focusing on material abundance and cost. Advantages and challenges of different types of electrolyte for automotive batteries are examined. Finally, energy densities and costs of promising battery chemistries are critically evaluated along with an assessment of the potential to fulfil the ambitious targets of electric vehicle propulsion.

    更新日期:2018-04-13
  • Service update
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-12
    Changjun Zhang

    Service update Service update, Published online: 12 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0135-y Professor M Stanley Whittingham is a pioneering researcher in the development of lithium-ion batteries at Binghamton University and Kent Snyder leads battery research and development at Ford Motor Company. Nature Energy caught up with both during the Nature Conference on Materials Electrochemistry: Fundamentals and Applications held in China in January 2018.

    更新日期:2018-04-13
  • Finding the most efficient block
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-12
    Fouad Khan

    Finding the most efficient block Finding the most efficient block, Published online: 12 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0139-7 Finding the most efficient block

    更新日期:2018-04-13
  • Passivating Li metal
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-12
    Changjun Zhang

    Passivating Li metal Passivating Li metal, Published online: 12 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0140-1 Passivating Li metal

    更新日期:2018-04-13
  • Next step in manufacturing
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-12
    Jan D. Koenig

    Next step in manufacturing Next step in manufacturing, Published online: 12 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0131-2 Thermoelectric devices convert heat flows into electricity. Researchers recently demonstrated that thermoelectric materials can be produced in good quality by 3D printing, enabling a low-cost production process in the near future.

    更新日期:2018-04-13
  • Batteries and fuel cells for emerging electric vehicle markets
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-04-12
    Zachary P. Cano, Dustin Banham, Siyu Ye, Andreas Hintennach, Jun Lu, Michael Fowler, Zhongwei Chen

    Today’s electric vehicles are almost exclusively powered by lithium-ion batteries, but there is a long way to go before electric vehicles become dominant in the global automotive market. In addition to policy support, widespread deployment of electric vehicles requires high-performance and low-cost energy storage technologies, including not only batteries but also alternative electrochemical devices. Here, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of various batteries and hydrogen fuel cells that have the greatest potential to succeed in commercial applications. Three sectors that are not well served by current lithium-ion-powered electric vehicles, namely the long-range, low-cost and high-utilization transportation markets, are discussed. The technological properties that must be improved to fully enable these electric vehicle markets include specific energy, cost, safety and power grid compatibility. Six energy storage and conversion technologies that possess varying combinations of these improved characteristics are compared and separately evaluated for each market. The remainder of the Review briefly discusses the technological status of these clean energy technologies, emphasizing barriers that must be overcome.

    更新日期:2018-04-13
Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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