Six ‘Grand Challenges’ Face the United States

Joanna Schroeder

There are six “grand challenges” facing the United States over the next decade according to a report from the national Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The challenges include sustainability, water, climate change, agriculture, energy and education. The APLU project was co-chaired by W. Daniel Edge, head of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. Edge …

Climate Change, Education, Energy, Research, water

Companies Need to Step Up Sustainability Efforts

Joanna Schroeder

According to a recent report, while there are pockets of sustainability leadership in the U.S. business community, much more needs to be done. The Ceres and Sustainalytics study found that most companies are merely taking small, incremental steps to address sustainability issues that could impact not only their bottom line, but also the economy and planet. “Given the acceleration of …

Clean Energy, Climate Change, Environment, Renewable Energy, Research

Liverpool Researchers Study Agave for Biofuels

Joanna Schroeder

A PhD student at the University of Liverpool is studying a plant that may be a viable feedstock to produce advanced biofuels. Agave sisalana is a proposed biofuel plant that can be grown in semi-arid conditions unsuited to food crops. The plant is already grown for fibre in countries like Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar. Sisal fibre has traditionally been …

advance biofuels, feedstocks, Renewable Energy, Research

DOE Finds Hydropower Has Great Potential

Joanna Schroeder

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has released a renewable energy resource assessment that finds that hydropower has great potential to produce renewable electricity. The report estimates over 65 gigawatts (GW) of potential new hydropower development across more than three million U.S. rivers and streams. This is nearly the amount currently produced by the industry. “The United States has tremendous untapped clean …

Hydro, Renewable Energy, Research

Trends & Growth in Global Geothermal Market

Joanna Schroeder

A new report reveals the international power market is booming with a sustained growth rate of 4 percent to 5 percent. The “2014 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report,” finds, released by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) finds that nearly 700 projects are currently under development in 76 countries. Among the key factors for growth, finds the report, …

Geothermal, International, Renewable Energy, Research

Simplifying Pyrolysis for Bio-Oil Production

John Davis

U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers are getting closer to developing a system that will help farmers make their own energy on the farm or produce biofuels for commercial purposes. This article from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) says scientists have found a way to simplify the pyrolysis processes for bio-oil. These findings by ARS scientists Charles Mullen and Akwasi …

biofuels, Research, USDA

Characterizing Photosynthesis to Help Biodiesel

John Davis

Researchers in California have found a faster way to figure out more of the secrets of photosynthesis, and that could lead to new strains of algae better for biodiesel. Officials with the Carnegie Institution for Science say they have developed a new technique that will accelerate genetic characterization of photosynthesis: A type of single-cell green algae called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is …

Biodiesel, Research

U.S. Clean Energy Struggling from Policy Uncertainty

Joanna Schroeder

According to research from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. clean energy sector continues to be buffeted by policy uncertainty with 2013 investment down 9 percent from 2012 to $36.7 billion. The annual report, “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2013,” found that steep declines in the installation of wind overshadowed a record annual deployment of 4.4 gigawatts of solar. …

biofuels, Clean Energy, Research, Solar, Wind

Stanford Scientists Convert Carbon Monoxide to Ethanol

Joanna Schroeder

Stanford University scientists have discovered a new way to produce liquid ethanol from carbon monoxide gas. The researchers believe the discovery could provide an “green” alternative to conventional ethanol production from corn and other crops. The results were published in the April issue of Nature. “We have discovered the first metal catalyst that can produce appreciable amounts of ethanol from …

advance biofuels, Carbon Dioxide, Ethanol, Research

ACORE Releases Renewable Energy in America Outlook

Joanna Schroeder

The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) has released The Outlook for Renewable Energy in America: 2014, jointly authored by U.S. renewable energy trade associations from the power, thermal, and fuel sectors. The Outlook assesses the renewable energy marketplace and forecasts the future of each renewable energy technology sector, from the perspectives of each of the associations, and provides a …

Renewable Energy, Research