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Conscious de-coupling

Zhang et al. show that, through active policy measures including deployment of more efficient plants, China may have grown thermal electricity production while decreasing freshwater withdrawal.

Latest Research

  • Article |

    Integrating biofuel production with petrorefinery operations offers potential efficiency savings, but is technologically immature. Here, Deneyer et al. use a two-phase catalytic process that converts (hemi)cellulose into light naphtha, utilizing petro-derived solvent streams to deliver a fuel containing 10% bio-derived carbon.

    • Aron Deneyer
    • , Elise Peeters
    • , Tom Renders
    • , Sander Van den Bosch
    • , Nette Van Oeckel
    • , Thijs Ennaert
    • , Tibor Szarvas
    • , Tamás I. Korányi
    • , Michiel Dusselier
    •  & Bert F. Sels
  • Article |

    A well-designed artificial solid-electrolyte interphase (ASEI) could help resolve multiple problems associated with the use of metallic Li anodes in batteries. Here, the authors develop a Langmuir–Blodgett method to produce an ASEI composed of functionalized graphene oxide with a compatible electrolyte formulation, which facilitates a stable cycling of Li metal batteries.

    • Mun Sek Kim
    • , Ji-Hyun Ryu
    • , Deepika
    • , Young Rok Lim
    • , In Wook Nah
    • , Kwang-Ryeol Lee
    • , Lynden A. Archer
    •  & Won Il Cho
  • Article |

    Energy security is an important policy objective across Europe. Public concern about energy security varies across countries due to differences in national energy context and more general national indicators of economic and human well-being, over-and-above individual population characteristics.

    • Christina Demski
    • , Wouter Poortinga
    • , Lorraine Whitmarsh
    • , Gisela Böhm
    • , Stephen Fisher
    • , Linda Steg
    • , Resul Umit
    • , Pekka Jokinen
    •  & Pasi Pohjolainen
  • Article |

    Decoupling resource use from energy production is critical for sustainable development. Here, researchers show a decoupling between water use and electricity generation growth in China, accompanied by changing spatial distribution of associated water stress.

    • Chao Zhang
    • , Lijin Zhong
    •  & Jiao Wang
  • Article |

    To minimize recombination losses and therefore increase the conversion efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells, researchers have relied on passivating contacts. Here, the authors demonstrate a hole-selective passivating contact that exploits the firing step currently employed in industrial manufacturing.

    • Andrea Ingenito
    • , Gizem Nogay
    • , Quentin Jeangros
    • , Esteban Rucavado
    • , Christophe Allebé
    • , Santhana Eswara
    • , Nathalie Valle
    • , Tom Wirtz
    • , Jörg Horzel
    • , Takashi Koida
    • , Monica Morales-Masis
    • , Matthieu Despeisse
    • , Franz-Josef Haug
    • , Philipp Löper
    •  & Christophe Ballif
  • Article |

    Ternary-blend organic photovoltaics enable solar cell performances exceeding binary blends due to the multiple light-harvesting materials, yet challenges remain in controlling their morphology. Now, Zhou et al. exploit hierarchical morphology to build all-small-molecule ternary-blend devices with high performance.

    • Zichun Zhou
    • , Shengjie Xu
    • , Jingnan Song
    • , Yingzhi Jin
    • , Qihui Yue
    • , Yuhao Qian
    • , Feng Liu
    • , Fengling Zhang
    •  & Xiaozhang Zhu

News & Comment

  • Comment |

    The need to include gender in energy policy, practice and research is largely accepted. However, when research that merely disaggregates by sex is used to inform energy efficiency initiatives, it often reproduces stereotypical understandings of sex differences, which can harm rather than promote gender equality.

    • Sarah Bradshaw
  • Comment |

    Smart in-home devices, if integrated with the capability to transact energy with one another and with the electric grid, can offer a disruptive solution to managing energy supply and demand. Such transactive energy networks could turn homes from passive energy consumers into intelligent, active energy storage and service providers for the future grid.

    • Na (Nora) Wang
  • News & Views |

    The German Energiewende is an ambitious project, but the expansion of renewables needed to achieve its goals is expensive. Now, research shows that consumers would accept higher levies to finance renewables if exemption policies were abolished, forcing industries to pay their fair share.

    • Claudia Schwirplies
  • News & Views |

    Electricity production has traditionally required extensive water use, so growing economies such as China are expected to increase their freshwater withdrawal and consumption to meet growing electricity demand. Research shows, however, that through restructuring the electricity sector and increasing efficiency, China may have broken this coupling.

    • Evan G. R. Davies


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.