Energy modelling

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    End-product toxicity, culture contamination, and energy efficient product recovery are long-standing issues in bioprocessing. Here, the authors address these problems using a fermentation strategy that combines microbial production of branched alcohols with supercritical carbon dioxide extraction.

    • Jason T. Boock
    • , Adam J. E. Freedman
    • , Geoffrey A. Tompsett
    • , Sarah K. Muse
    • , Audrey J. Allen
    • , Luke A. Jackson
    • , Bernardo Castro-Dominguez
    • , Michael T. Timko
    • , Kristala L. J. Prather
    •  & Janelle R. Thompson
  • Research |

    The growing deployment of solar panels in urban areas requires tools to determine their optimal placement and electricity yield. Towards this end, this study presents a simplified model based on the sky view and sun coverage factors and validates it using real-world data from different systems in different climates.

    • Andres Calcabrini
    • , Hesan Ziar
    • , Olindo Isabella
    •  & Miro Zeman
  • Research | | open

    Though multijunction solar cells can exceed silicon technology in terms of standard efficiency, the uncertainty in solar spectral changes impacts its energy production. Here, the authors use machine learning techniques to predict the optimal solar cell designs in terms of yearly averaged efficiency.

    • J. M. Ripalda
    • , J. Buencuerpo
    •  & I. García
  • Research |

    Achieving sustainable development goals while meeting the 1.5 °C climate target requires radical changes to how we use energy. A scenario of low energy demand shows how this can be done by down-sizing the global energy system to enable feasible deployment rates of renewable energy resources.

    • Arnulf Grubler
    • , Charlie Wilson
    • , Nuno Bento
    • , Benigna Boza-Kiss
    • , Volker Krey
    • , David L. McCollum
    • , Narasimha D. Rao
    • , Keywan Riahi
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    • , Simon De Stercke
    • , Jonathan Cullen
    • , Stefan Frank
    • , Oliver Fricko
    • , Fei Guo
    • , Matt Gidden
    • , Petr Havlík
    • , Daniel Huppmann
    • , Gregor Kiesewetter
    • , Peter Rafaj
    • , Wolfgang Schoepp
    •  & Hugo Valin
    Nature Energy 3, 515-527
  • Research |

    Investment and policy decisions about low-carbon technologies have been affected by the promise of a ‘unicorn technology’ that may reduce emissions at low costs. Researchers show that such investment delays can have high implications on cost and emissions whether the unicorn technology materializes or not.

    • Clara F. Heuberger
    • , Iain Staffell
    • , Nilay Shah
    •  & Niall Mac Dowell
    Nature Energy 3, 634-640
  • Research | | open

    Communication networks and power grids may be subject to cascading failures which can lead to outages. Here the authors propose to investigate cascades using dynamical transients of electrical power grids, thereby identifying possible vulnerabilities that might remain undetected with any static approach.

    • Benjamin Schäfer
    • , Dirk Witthaut
    • , Marc Timme
    •  & Vito Latora

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Current understanding is that electricity savings in green commercial buildings are low or even negligible. New research, based on a sophisticated analysis of detailed energy data, proves that they do save energy, decrease environmental damage and reduce peak electricity demand.

    • Matthaios Santamouris
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Climate change mitigation scenarios are finding a wider set of users, including companies and financial institutions. Increased collaboration between scenario producers and these new communities will be mutually beneficial, educating companies and investors on climate risks while grounding climate science in real-world needs.

    • Christopher Weber
    • , David L. McCollum
    • , Jae Edmonds
    • , Pedro Faria
    • , Alban Pyanet
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    • , Massimo Tavoni
    • , Jakob Thoma
    •  & Elmar Kriegler
  • News and Views |

    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.

    • Robert Thresher
    Nature Energy 3, 453-454
  • News and Views |

    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.

    • Gokul Iyer
    •  & James Edmonds
    Nature Energy 3, 357-358
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Ambition regarding climate change at the national level is critical but is often calibrated with the projected costs — as estimated by a small suite of energy–economic models. Weaknesses in several key areas in these models will continue to distort policy design unless collectively addressed by a diversity of researchers.

    • Alexander R. Barron