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This month we look at silicon photovoltaics, carbon dioxide electrolysers, next-generation batteries, energy business models, climate benefits of hydropower and more.

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    • Long-duration energy storage technologies can be a solution to the intermittency problem of wind and solar power but estimating technology costs remains a challenge. New research identifies cost targets for long-duration storage technologies to make them competitive against different firm low-carbon generation technologies.

      • Omar J. Guerra
      News & Views
    • Electrochromic windows can reduce buildings’ energy demand and improve occupants’ comfort, yet they struggle to fully meet market needs. Now, researchers demonstrate that polymer additives improve light and solar heat modulation of reflective electrochromic windows, with potential for durable, large-scale and low-cost manufacturing.

      • Stephen Selkowitz
      News & Views
    • Wind energy’s contribution to primary energy supply has increased in the past decade, while technology costs have decreased faster than predicted. New work finds that recent expert estimates of wind technology costs by 2050 are around half what they were in 2015, implying a bigger role for wind energy in low-carbon development pathways.

      • Elena Verdolini
      News & Views
    • Liquid-electrolyte-fed electrolysers are promising for conversion of carbon dioxide into fuels and chemicals, but suffer stability issues due to precipitate formation at the cathode. New research reports the prevention of salt formation at porous electrodes, bringing the technology one step closer to industrial commercialization.

      • Klaas Jan P. Schouten
      News & Views
    • Innovative energy business models, such as peer-to-peer trading or energy as a service, are attractive to different groups of customers. Disengaged consumers with low trust in the energy market could face further disadvantages, while already active consumers could reap even greater benefits, which risks widening existing socio-economic inequalities.

      • Stephen Hall
      • Jillian Anable
      • Yvonne Matthews
      Policy Brief
  • The carbonaceous anode was the final important piece of the jigsaw for the first commercialized rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Its original inventor recounts how the search for a research subject led to the breakthrough.

    • Akira Yoshino
    Tales of Invention
  • Our data-sharing policies continually evolve. Here we provide an overview of our current approaches.

  • 11 March 2021 marked the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Today, without better public engagement and understanding of nuclear power generation and its role in the energy system mix, progress on Japan’s post-carbon strategy will remain stagnant.

    • Midori Aoyagi
  • Lithium cobalt oxide was the first commercially successful cathode for the lithium-ion battery mass market. Its success directly led to the development of various layered-oxide compositions that dominate today’s automobile batteries.

    • Arumugam Manthiram
    • John B. Goodenough
    Tales of Invention
  • The milestones in rechargeable lithium-ion battery development have been widely reported but the first-hand accounts from inventors have often not been. We aim to bring their personal stories to wider attention with a new article series.

  • It is now almost 50 years since the first rechargeable lithium batteries, based on the reversible intercalation of lithium into layered structured titanium disulfide, were conceived. They were the precursor to the structurally related layered oxides that now dominate energy storage for electronics, the grid and vehicles.

    • M. Stanley Whittingham
    Tales of Invention
Social Dynamics of Energy Behaviour

Social Dynamics of Energy Behaviour

Energy use occurs in homes, workplaces and communities in which complex webs of social relations already exist, and social interactions routinely occur.