Energy and the US election 

October 2016

The forthcoming US elections therefore represent a pivotal moment for energy policy, not just for the US but also globally. The outcome will have implications for the Clean Power Plan, the future of renewable energy provision, support for conventional and unconventional fossil fuels, and energy security, among many other factors, which could alter the course of the energy transition for decades to come.

In preparation for the new presidency, this Focus presents discussions of the possible evolution of US energy policy and the strategic role the US might play in the global context, depending on the result. The pieces offered provide analyses of the possible energy programmes of the two main presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Focus also explores the implications of these energy policies for the major supply countries and their wider influence on energy policymaking and security around the world.

Flag image: D. Hurst/Alamy Stock Photo. Icons: A. Baker. Design: Tulsi Voralia, Alex Wing.


Post lithium-ion batteries

September 2016

Several post lithium-ion battery approaches exist that offer high-energy and long-life storage capability but also face tremendous challenges in their realization. In particular, many aspects of the fundamental science of battery processes, which hold the key for further development of future batteries, are still poorly understood.

This Focus discusses four post lithium-ion batteries - lithium-air, lithium-sulfur, lithium-metal and solid-state - and highlights advances for each of them in the fundamental understanding of those processes that govern battery operation and performance limitations.

Image credit: Monty Rakusen/Cultura/Getty.


Energy, climate and society

May 2016

The energy sector is the largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. If countries are going to keep their pledges to curb warming to 1.5–2 °C above preindustrial levels, society will have to transform how it fuels its activity.

Many technical fixes for this problem have been explored, but these studies often rely on stylized assumptions about the ways individuals, communities, countries and companies behave. An integrated approach that engages the social sciences alongside the physical and natural sciences and engineering will be necessary if society is to clean up energy production, cut consumption and ensure that humans interact with energy systems in a sustainable way.

This joint Nature Energy and Nature Climate Change Collection showcases research that provides a fuller understanding of society’s response to the challenges of transitioning to a low-carbon energy regime.

Image credit: Dirk Meister/Moment/Getty.