News & Comment

  • News and Views |

    Understanding how subsidies affect fossil-fuel investment returns and production is crucial to commencing new reforms. New analysis on the impact of subsidies on US crude-oil producers finds that, at recent oil prices of around US$50 per barrel, tax preferences and other subsidies push nearly half of new oil investments into profitability.

    • Ronald Steenblik
  • Editorial |

    We all stand to gain by doing more to combat gender inequality.

  • News and Views |

    The shale gas revolution has led to a boom in construction of shale oil and gas wells in recent years. New research offers a more accurate accounting of its growing land-use footprint.

    • Joseph Fargione
  • News and Views |

    Household income is a typical measure of inequality, but it is limited by under-reporting, especially for rural Chinese households. A new study shows that energy consumption measures service flows of household durable electronics, which can provide more precise measurement of rural wealth inequalities and distributions.

    • Dabo Guan
  • News and Views |

    Confining sulfur in high-surface-area carbon is a widely adapted approach in Li–S batteries, but it often results in low sulfur utilization and low energy density. Now, controlled nucleation of discrete Li2S particles on a network of low-surface-area carbon fibres provides a possible solution to the endemic problems of Li–S batteries.

    • Yang-Kook Sun
    •  & Chong Seung Yoon
  • Comment |

    President Trump has proposed severe cuts to US government spending on energy research, development and demonstration, but Congress has the ‘power of the purse’ and can rescue US energy innovation. If serious cuts are enacted, the pace of innovation will slow, harming the economy, energy security and global environmental quality.

    • Laura Diaz Anadon
    • , Kelly Sims Gallagher
    •  & John P. Holdren
  • News and Views |

    Light-weight and stretchable, organic photovoltaics offer unique integration prospects. Now, organic solar cells and modules can also be washed while maintaining good photoconversion efficiencies.

    • Ning Li
    •  & Christoph J. Brabec
  • Editorial |

    Energy models provide powerful insights for decision-makers, but more care is needed around the choice of reference scenarios and the transparency of assumptions.

  • News and Views |

    Environmental heat sinks beyond local air are available for use with normal air conditioners to increase their efficiency. A study has exploited outer space and the atmosphere as remote sinks to demonstrate daytime sub-ambient fluid cooling and its application in reducing the energy needed to cool an interior.

    • Geoff Smith
    •  & Angus Gentle
  • Comment |

    The Trump administration's domestic plans would have curtailed the nation's climate action even if it had stayed in the Paris Agreement. Yet, the decision to leave the agreement undermines US international energy and climate leadership and the prospects of ramping up global climate policy ambition.

    • Jason Bordoff
  • Editorial |

    Recent large-scale carbon-capture schemes in the energy sector point to progress, but further development and support are still required to improve viability and widespread deployment.

  • Comment |

    The structure of active sites of enzymes involved in bioenergetic processes can inspire design of active, stable and cost-effective catalysts for renewable-energy technologies. For these materials to reach maturity, the benefits of bioinspired systems must be combined with practical technological requirements.

    • Vincent Artero
  • News and Views |

    The utilization of porous carbon cathodes in lithium–air batteries is hindered by their severe decomposition during battery cycling. Now, dual redox mediators are shown to decouple the complex electrochemical reactions at the cathode, avoiding cathode passivation and decomposition.

    • Ji-Jing Xu
    •  & Xin-Bo Zhang