The appeal of hydrogen fuel cells has long been obvious.
The appeal of hydrogen fuel cells has long been obvious.
Solar power has been declared a winner before, only to flounder. But these days it is expanding faster than any other power source, with momentum that has become unstoppable. The potential benefits—both economic and environmental—could be profound.
When it comes to energy, new technologies can upend the status quo almost overnight, surprising everyone. And just as the shale revolution, unleashed by fracking, has largely triggered the current oil upheaval, so progress in improving batteries could roil geopolitics and business in major ways.
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the U.S. naval aviator Thomas Moorer questioned Takeo Kurita, a former vice admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, as part of the U.S. military's postwar interrogation of Japanese commanders. Kurita told Moorer that one of the most significant reversals of fortune Japan had suffered during the war was the loss of fuel supplies.
Recent advances have made wind and solar power more competitive than ever. Still, governments must redesign their policies and help renewables slash costs.
Clean-energy technology is expensive and the United States is spending far too little on developing it.
Thanks to high oil prices and hefty subsidies, corn-based ethanol is now all the rage in the United States. But it takes so much supply to keep ethanol production going that the price of corn -- and those of other food staples -- is shooting up around the world. To stop this trend, and prevent even more people from going hungry, Washington must conserve more and diversify ethanol's production inputs.
Leader of the world’s ethanol industry, Brazil is brokering cooperation agreements from India to sub-Saharan Africa. But the outlook for an international biofuels market remains uncertain.
A new U.S.-Brazilian deal aims to boost ethanol production, but analysts say it’s just one of many steps needed if America is to meet its goal of “energy independence.”
Skyrocketing corn prices have implications for the 2007 Farm Bill, U.S. energy policy, trade, and Mexican tortillas.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Commerce Department reviewed its tariffs on imported Chinese solar panels, originally imposed in 2012 in retaliation against Chinese subsidies and below-market pricing, and opted to maintain the total tariff burden on most panels.
An upstart material—perovskite—could finally make solar cells that are cheaper and more efficient than the prevailing silicon technology. Varun Sivaram and co-authors delve into the science behind perovskites and assess the technology’s commercial prospects.
Tesla is planning to scale up production of its lithium-ion batteries, which today power electric vehicles but tomorrow could back up the electricity grid, by building a massive “Gigafactory” in Nevada. Varun Sivaram argues that while positive in the short run, Tesla’s mediocre battery could crowd out more promising, advanced battery technologies in the long run, impeding long-term progress on climate change.
For fifty years, Moore’s Law has governed the startling pace of innovation in the computer chip industry. That Moore’s Law is an extraordinary phenomenon, unique to a single industry, is often forgotten by clean energy commentators who misappropriate it for predicting the progress of technologies like solar panels and batteries. Varun Sivaram argues that this sort of analogy is misleading, and that the clean energy sector should aspire to Moore-esque advances.
The City of Los Angeles is nearly two thirds of the way towards its goal of generating a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Cities around the world can glean valuable technical, economic and political lessons from its experience, writes Varun Sivaram.
The global energy map is being redrawn at an accelerated pace. All signs point to the United States becoming part of an increasingly hemispheric energy trade, both for oil as well as for biofuels like ethanol. The Middle East will still loom large in U.S. energy policy given its crucial role in the world oil market, but U.S. energy officials and companies are forging deeper ties with their counterparts elsewhere in the Americas.
Experts discuss the relationship of energy with geopolitics, modernity, and the environment, as well as sources of clean and renewable energy.
Anne Lauvergeon, chief executive officer of AREVA, a company that provides complete fuel cycle services, nuclear reactor design, and construction for the nuclear energy industry internationally, offers her perspective on how to satisfy growing global energy needs while decreasing carbon dioxide emissions, protecting natural resources, and maintaining price stability and competition.
Listen to T. Boone Pickens outline the future of U.S. energy policy and his campaign to promote the “Pickens Plan,” which calls for increased use of domestic energy products such as wind and natural gas to lower U.S. dependence on foreign oil by more than fifty percent over the next ten years.
Listen to David Rothkopf, president and chief executive officer of Garten Rothkopf, and C. Ford Runge, distinguished McKnight university professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, discuss the potential impact of the increasing demand for biofuels on global energy and food security.
To ensure the success of Myanmar's historic democratic transition, the United States should revise its outdated and counterproductive sanctions policy.
Blackwill and Campbell analyze the rise of Chinese President Xi Jinping and call for a new American grand strategy for Asia.
Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
Kurlantzick offers the sharpest analysis yet of what state capitalism’s emergence means for democratic politics around the world. More
In a cogent analysis of why the United States is losing ground as a world power, Blackwill and Harris explore the statecraft of geoeconomics. More
Takeyh and Simon reframe the legacy of U.S. involvement in the Arab world from 1945 to 1991 and shed new light on the makings of the contemporary Middle East. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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