Joris Snaet, KU Leuven

Our November issue is now live

Latest Research

  • Analysis |

    Multilateral development banks are known to finance a significant number of new power plants in low-income countries, and have been pushing for more renewables. Here, researchers build a bottom-up dataset of more than 800 projects from 10 banks to quantify the extent to which these banks have greened their portfolios.

    • Bjarne Steffen
    •  & Tobias S. Schmidt
  • Analysis |

    Although rigid silicon panels dominate the solar power market, they are unsuitable for niche applications such as portable charging or drones, where thin-film and flexible technologies would be advantageous. This Analysis examines the needs of niche markets and the packaging weights that would be required to enable such photovoltaic devices to enter them.

    • Matthew O. Reese
    • , Stephen Glynn
    • , Michael D. Kempe
    • , Deborah L. McGott
    • , Matthew S. Dabney
    • , Teresa M. Barnes
    • , Samuel Booth
    • , David Feldman
    •  & Nancy M. Haegel
  • Article |

    A decrease in the cost of renewable energy is often attributed to technological learning. This study uses 18 years of data from 133 renewable energy projects in Germany, alongside practitioner interviews, to find that changing financing costs, not just technology, are responsible for a significant cost decrease.

    • Florian Egli
    • , Bjarne Steffen
    •  & Tobias S. Schmidt
  • Review Article |

    The thermal properties of solar energy can be exploited for many applications, including evaporation. Tao et al. review recent developments in the field of solar-driven interfacial evaporation, which have enabled higher-performance structures by localizing energy conversion to the air/liquid interface.

    • Peng Tao
    • , George Ni
    • , Chengyi Song
    • , Wen Shang
    • , Jianbo Wu
    • , Jia Zhu
    • , Gang Chen
    •  & Tao Deng
  • Article |

    Reducing the severity of the conditions required to synthesize ammonia would increase the viability of its use as a carbon-free energy carrier. Here the authors use metal imides to mediate ammonia production via a two-step chemical looping process that operates under mild conditions.

    • Wenbo Gao
    • , Jianping Guo
    • , Peikun Wang
    • , Qianru Wang
    • , Fei Chang
    • , Qijun Pei
    • , Weijin Zhang
    • , Lin Liu
    •  & Ping Chen

News & Comment

  • Q&A |

    In April 2018, the Mini-Grid Innovation Lab was launched by The Rockefeller Foundation and CrossBoundary. Working with partners across Africa, and supported by Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the lab will test business solutions for mini-grids based in Africa to find the most cost-effective and scalable solutions. In doing so, it aims to demonstrate to governments, policymakers, investors and donors that mini-grids can play a key role in providing energy access to 600 million people without power in Africa. Nature Energy spoke to Gabriel Davies of CrossBoundary about the objectives and achievements of the lab so far.

    • Fouad Khan
  • News & Views |

    Cryogenic-electron microscopy is rapidly transforming battery research. Now, this powerful technique has been used to identify lithium hydride as a surprising culprit behind Li-ion battery failure.

    • Yuzhang Li
    • , Yanbin Li
    •  & Yi Cui

Focus

Photovoltaic scale-up and deployment

Antal Thoma, CSEM

Photovoltaic scale-up and deployment

This Focus examines some of the challenges in scaling-up photovoltaic technologies from the laboratory to the real world and explores upcoming deployment routes.