Browse Articles

  • News & Views |

    In the face of more frequent long-duration power outages, utilities are looking to invest in more resilient infrastructure and solutions. A new study shows that residential customers are willing to pay for increased resilience and will spend extra to support their communities and low-income neighbours.

    • Kate Anderson
  • News & Views |

    Understanding the activity and stability of oxygen-evolving anodes is crucial for developing better water splitting electrolysers. Researchers now show the importance of interactions between iron and hydr(oxy)oxide hosts in dynamically-stable electrocatalysts that balance dissolution and deposition of iron present in the electrolyte.

    • Oscar Diaz-Morales
  • Article |

    Low energy density and limited cyclability are preventing the commercialization of aqueous Zn–MnO2 batteries. Here, the authors combine the merits of operating Zn anodes in alkaline conditions and MnO2 cathodes in acidic conditions, via an electrolyte-decoupling strategy, to realize high-performance batteries.

    • Cheng Zhong
    • , Bin Liu
    • , Jia Ding
    • , Xiaorui Liu
    • , Yuwei Zhong
    • , Yuan Li
    • , Changbin Sun
    • , Xiaopeng Han
    • , Yida Deng
    • , Naiqin Zhao
    •  & Wenbin Hu
  • Article |

    Detailed measures of energy use inequality globally and within countries are essential to ensure a just energy transition. Estimating embedded energy in goods and services used by different income groups, Oswald et al. measure the large inequality in energy use in 86 countries, and internationally.

    • Yannick Oswald
    • , Anne Owen
    •  & Julia K. Steinberger
  • Article |

    Ocean currents offer a potential source of power, but identification of the best sites requires a detailed understanding of their variability. Barnier et al. undertake global eddy-resolving ocean modelling to gain insight into the feedback from ocean power plants on currents and the changes they can induce.

    • Bernard Barnier
    • , Anastasiia Domina
    • , Sergey Gulev
    • , Jean-Marc Molines
    • , Thierry Maitre
    • , Thierry Penduff
    • , Julien Le Sommer
    • , Pierre Brasseur
    • , Laurent Brodeau
    •  & Pedro Colombo
  • Article |

    Understanding what underpins the activity and stability of oxygen evolution catalysts is an ongoing issue in the field of water splitting. Now, researchers show that balancing the rate of Fe dissolution and deposition over a metal hydr(oxy)oxide host yields dynamically stable Fe active sites, with the Fe–host interaction key to the performance.

    • Dong Young Chung
    • , Pietro P. Lopes
    • , Pedro Farinazzo Bergamo Dias Martins
    • , Haiying He
    • , Tomoya Kawaguchi
    • , Peter Zapol
    • , Hoydoo You
    • , Dusan Tripkovic
    • , Dusan Strmcnik
    • , Yisi Zhu
    • , Soenke Seifert
    • , Sungsik Lee
    • , Vojislav R. Stamenkovic
    •  & Nenad M. Markovic
  • Article |

    Future resilience planning for large-area long-duration electricity outages requires, in part, estimates of what electricity consumers are willing to pay for preparedness. Baik et al. arrive at those estimates using a representative survey and find some willingness to invest in community resilience.

    • Sunhee Baik
    • , Alexander L. Davis
    • , Jun Woo Park
    • , Selin Sirinterlikci
    •  & M. Granger Morgan
  • News & Views |

    All-solid-state lithium batteries typically suffer from low coulombic efficiencies and lithium dendrite growth at high current densities. Now, a silver–carbon composite anode is demonstrated that mitigates some of these problems, even for a prototype cell with a high energy density of over 900 Wh L–1.

    • Kun Joong Kim
    • , Jesse J. Hinricher
    •  & Jennifer L. M. Rupp
  • News & Views |

    In the intensive search for higher performance Li-ion cathode materials the spotlight is firmly fixed on Li-rich compounds. Now, a strategy utilizing a fluorinated, disordered LiMn2O4 spinel structure shows how ultra-fast Li-ion diffusion and high energy density can be achieved with Mn and O redox.

    • Robert A. House
    •  & Peter G. Bruce
  • Analysis |

    Considering the interdependence of performance measures and the lack of a basic reference system for all-solid-state batteries, Jürgen Janek and co-workers analyse literature performance data for major types of all-solid-state batteries and benchmark them against minimalistic reference cells.

    • Simon Randau
    • , Dominik A. Weber
    • , Olaf Kötz
    • , Raimund Koerver
    • , Philipp Braun
    • , André Weber
    • , Ellen Ivers-Tiffée
    • , Torben Adermann
    • , Jörn Kulisch
    • , Wolfgang G. Zeier
    • , Felix H. Richter
    •  & Jürgen Janek
  • Article |

    Anion exchange membrane water electrolysers have potential cost advantages over proton exchange membrane electrolysers, but their performance has lagged behind. Here the authors investigate the cause of the poor performance of anion exchange membrane electrolysers and design ionomers that can overcome some of the challenges.

    • Dongguo Li
    • , Eun Joo Park
    • , Wenlei Zhu
    • , Qiurong Shi
    • , Yang Zhou
    • , Hangyu Tian
    • , Yuehe Lin
    • , Alexey Serov
    • , Barr Zulevi
    • , Ehren Donel Baca
    • , Cy Fujimoto
    • , Hoon T. Chung
    •  & Yu Seung Kim
  • Article |

    Solid-state Li metal batteries represent one of the most promising rechargeable battery technologies. Here the authors report an exceptional high-performance prototype solid-state pouch cell made of a sulfide electrolyte, a high-Ni layered oxide cathode and, in particular, a silver–carbon composite anode with no excess Li.

    • Yong-Gun Lee
    • , Satoshi Fujiki
    • , Changhoon Jung
    • , Naoki Suzuki
    • , Nobuyoshi Yashiro
    • , Ryo Omoda
    • , Dong-Su Ko
    • , Tomoyuki Shiratsuchi
    • , Toshinori Sugimoto
    • , Saebom Ryu
    • , Jun Hwan Ku
    • , Taku Watanabe
    • , Youngsin Park
    • , Yuichi Aihara
    • , Dongmin Im
    •  & In Taek Han
  • Article |

    There is an intensive search for high-performance cathode materials for rechargeable batteries. Here the authors report that oxyfluorides with partial spinel-like cation order, made from earth-abundant elements, display both exceptionally high energy and power.

    • Huiwen Ji
    • , Jinpeng Wu
    • , Zijian Cai
    • , Jue Liu
    • , Deok-Hwang Kwon
    • , Hyunchul Kim
    • , Alexander Urban
    • , Joseph K. Papp
    • , Emily Foley
    • , Yaosen Tian
    • , Mahalingam Balasubramanian
    • , Haegyeom Kim
    • , Raphaële J. Clément
    • , Bryan D. McCloskey
    • , Wanli Yang
    •  & Gerbrand Ceder
  • Article |

    Non-flammable high-performance electrolytes are in high demand for rechargeable batteries. Here the authors design cyclic phosphate-based electrolytes to enable stable operations of graphite anodes and high-voltage cathodes for lithium-ion batteries.

    • Qifeng Zheng
    • , Yuki Yamada
    • , Rui Shang
    • , Seongjae Ko
    • , Yun-Yang Lee
    • , Kijae Kim
    • , Eiichi Nakamura
    •  & Atsuo Yamada
  • Comment |

    The smart home technology industry promises energy savings and lifestyle improvements. However, there is little evidence that smart home technologies will reduce home energy use overall, and there are a range of emerging detrimental social impacts that require further attention from researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

    • Larissa Nicholls
    • , Yolande Strengers
    •  & Jathan Sadowski
  • Editorial |

    More frequent and graver extreme events continue to remind us of the perils of climate change, but systematic consideration of these extremes in energy systems studies and full accounting of their impacts remains a challenge.

  • Comment |

    The number of plaintiffs taking energy firms to court for ignoring climate-related risks is growing. By revealing how the sector is not prepared — and not preparing — for what is coming, their cases are pressing the energy sector to treat those risks as a cost of doing business.

    • Justin Gundlach
  • Policy Brief |

    Non-market effects, such as strategic decisions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, energy legislation and speculative bubbles, move crude oil prices away from the level implied by supply and demand for extended periods. These effects should be more proactively monitored and regulated to suit national and international objectives.

    • Robert. K. Kaufmann
    •  & Caitlin Connelly
  • Comment |

    Energy firms struggle to incorporate climate risks in their planning and public disclosures. This lack of information is increasing the chances that herd behaviour in finance could potentially lead to sudden disruptions in energy supply and exacerbate consequences of climate-related extreme events.

    • Amy Myers Jaffe
  • Comment |

    Anomalous seasons such as extremely cold winters or low-wind summers can seriously disrupt renewable energy productivity and reliability. Better seasonal forecasts providing more accurate information tailored to stakeholder needs can help the renewable energy industry prepare for such extremes.

    • Anton Orlov
    • , Jana Sillmann
    •  & Ilaria Vigo
  • Comment |

    Despite increased awareness among investors, physical climate risk from extreme weather remains surprisingly unaccounted for in financial markets. Without better knowledge of this risk, the average energy investor can only hope that the next extreme event will not trigger a sudden correction to the market values of energy firms.

    • Paul A. Griffin
  • Comment |

    Scenarios are the primary tool for examining how current decisions shape the future, but the future is affected as much by out-of-ordinary extremes as by generally expected trends. Energy modellers can study extremes both by incorporating them directly within models and by using complementary off-model analyses.

    • David L. McCollum
    • , Ajay Gambhir
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    •  & Charlie Wilson
  • Comment |

    Climate change entails an intensification of extreme weather events that can potentially trigger socioeconomic and energy system disruptions. As we approach 1 °C of global warming we should start learning from historical extremes and explicitly incorporate such events in integrated climate–economy and energy systems models.

    • Christian Otto
    • , Franziska Piontek
    • , Matthias Kalkuhl
    •  & Katja Frieler
  • Review Article |

    Production of hydrogen fuel by electrolysis of low-grade or saline water, as opposed to pure water, could have benefits in terms of resource availability and cost. This Review examines the challenges of this approach and how they can be addressed through catalyst and electrolyser design.

    • Wenming Tong
    • , Mark Forster
    • , Fabio Dionigi
    • , Sören Dresp
    • , Roghayeh Sadeghi Erami
    • , Peter Strasser
    • , Alexander J. Cowan
    •  & Pau Farràs
  • Article |

    Climate change will induce not just a change in average temperature but higher frequency of extreme weather events, whose impacts are hard to quantify. Perera et al. quantify the impacts of climate induced extreme and regular weather variations on energy systems determining requirements for system reliability.

    • A. T. D. Perera
    • , Vahid M. Nik
    • , Deliang Chen
    • , Jean-Louis Scartezzini
    •  & Tianzhen Hong
  • Article |

    Oil prices are thought to be affected by speculation but the exact impact of speculation on price is not known. Kaufmann and Connelly quantify this effect and identify its beneficiaries by building a price model based on supply and demand, market fundamentals and associating deviations with historical geopolitical events.

    • Robert. K. Kaufmann
    •  & Caitlin Connelly
  • Article |

    The volumetric performance of supercapacitors needs to be improved, but the usual trade-off between porosity and density is a problem. Here the authors develop a graphene laminate film with tunable porosity that leads to a volumetric energy density of 88.1 Wh l−1 at the device level.

    • Zhuangnan Li
    • , Srinivas Gadipelli
    • , Hucheng Li
    • , Christopher A. Howard
    • , Dan J. L. Brett
    • , Paul R. Shearing
    • , Zhengxiao Guo
    • , Ivan P. Parkin
    •  & Feng Li
  • Perspective |

    Evaluating the impact of renewable energy innovation research funding is important to design more productive research and development programmes. Pless et al. discuss the key challenges in effective evaluation of research funding outcomes and identify solutions.

    • Jacquelyn Pless
    • , Cameron Hepburn
    •  & Niall Farrell
  • Policy Brief |

    Community energy groups can raise citizen finance for renewable energy projects at lower interest rates than from commercial lenders, but they often depend on price guarantee schemes. Policies providing price stability and business model innovations are needed to realize the sector’s potential contribution to the zero-carbon energy transition.

    • Tim Braunholtz-Speight
    • , Maria Sharmina
    • , Edward Manderson
    • , Carly McLachlan
    • , Matthew Hannon
    • , Jeff Hardy
    •  & Sarah Mander
  • News & Views |

    If the UK leaves the European Union single market without a suitable trade deal, then electricity trade with its European Union partners could be disrupted. New research estimates the 2030 cost of a hard electricity Brexit to Britain at €300 million per year.

    • David M. Newbery
  • News & Views |

    Community energy projects may be pivotal in low-carbon transitions, yet little empirical evidence exists about their financing. Now, research sheds light on the financial mechanisms and performance of community energy projects in the UK.

    • Thomas Bauwens
  • News & Views |

    Perovskite solar cells with an inverted configuration hold great promise for multi-junction applications, but their power conversion efficiency is low. Now, a long-chain alkylamine ligand-assisted strategy has been demonstrated to enable an efficiency of 22.34%.

    • Rui Zhu
  • Analysis |

    Community energy is a promising alternative to large-scale energy provision that could support decarbonization efforts. This study analyses business models, financing mechanisms and the financial performance of community energy projects in the UK to understand what is needed to better support the sector.

    • Tim Braunholtz-Speight
    • , Maria Sharmina
    • , Edward Manderson
    • , Carly McLachlan
    • , Matthew Hannon
    • , Jeff Hardy
    •  & Sarah Mander
  • Perspective |

    Energy use occurs in homes, workplaces and communities in which complex webs of social relations already exist. In this Perspective, the authors draw on recent qualitative research to propose a typology of social relations that shape how people engage with and use energy.

    • Tom Hargreaves
    •  & Lucie Middlemiss
  • News & Views |

    Carbon capture typically relies on pressure or temperature swings for uptake and release of CO2. Researchers now present a device exploiting electrochemistry to drive these processes in an electro-swing approach that grants flexibility for coupling to intermittent energy resources and may have broad applications for carbon capture.

    • Jennifer Wilcox
  • Review Article |

    Household energy behaviours are influenced by the behaviour of others. In this Review, the authors review recent findings on social influence in energy consumption and technology adoption and discuss pathways through which social influence can result in peer effects.

    • Kimberly S. Wolske
    • , Kenneth T. Gillingham
    •  & P. Wesley Schultz
  • Editorial |

    Although several companies are now working on the industrialization of perovskite solar cells, important questions around module reliability remain.

  • Consensus Statement
    | Open Access

    Reliability of stability data for perovskite solar cells is undermined by a lack of consistency in the test conditions and reporting. This Consensus Statement outlines practices for testing and reporting stability tailoring ISOS protocols for perovskite devices.

    • Mark V. Khenkin
    • , Eugene A. Katz
    • , Antonio Abate
    • , Giorgio Bardizza
    • , Joseph J. Berry
    • , Christoph Brabec
    • , Francesca Brunetti
    • , Vladimir Bulović
    • , Quinn Burlingame
    • , Aldo Di Carlo
    • , Rongrong Cheacharoen
    • , Yi-Bing Cheng
    • , Alexander Colsmann
    • , Stephane Cros
    • , Konrad Domanski
    • , Michał Dusza
    • , Christopher J. Fell
    • , Stephen R. Forrest
    • , Yulia Galagan
    • , Diego Di Girolamo
    • , Michael Grätzel
    • , Anders Hagfeldt
    • , Elizabeth von Hauff
    • , Harald Hoppe
    • , Jeff Kettle
    • , Hans Köbler
    • , Marina S. Leite
    • , Shengzhong (Frank) Liu
    • , Yueh-Lin Loo
    • , Joseph M. Luther
    • , Chang-Qi Ma
    • , Morten Madsen
    • , Matthieu Manceau
    • , Muriel Matheron
    • , Michael McGehee
    • , Rico Meitzner
    • , Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin
    • , Ana Flavia Nogueira
    • , Çağla Odabaşı
    • , Anna Osherov
    • , Nam-Gyu Park
    • , Matthew O. Reese
    • , Francesca De Rossi
    • , Michael Saliba
    • , Ulrich S. Schubert
    • , Henry J. Snaith
    • , Samuel D. Stranks
    • , Wolfgang Tress
    • , Pavel A. Troshin
    • , Vida Turkovic
    • , Sjoerd Veenstra
    • , Iris Visoly-Fisher
    • , Aron Walsh
    • , Trystan Watson
    • , Haibing Xie
    • , Ramazan Yıldırım
    • , Shaik Mohammed Zakeeruddin
    • , Kai Zhu
    •  & Monica Lira-Cantu
  • News & Views |

    Colloidal perovskite quantum dots offer potential stability advantages for solar cells over bulk perovskites but lag far behind in device efficiency. Now, a modified cation exchange method has been shown to improve the optoelectronic quality of perovskite nanocrystals, improving further the efficiency and stability of quantum dot solar cells.

    • Joel Jean