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  • 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
  • We celebrate our fifth birthday this issue, with some reflections on the journey from 2016 to today.

  • To mark the fifth anniversary of Nature Energy, past and present editors share their take on some favourite papers.

    • Changjun (Alex) Zhang
    • Elisa De Ranieri
    • Giulia Tregnago
  • Energy research works with units and concepts forged in an age of fossil fuel, leading to problem formulations that reinforce current societal practices and patterns of consumption. Achieving low-carbon energy goals depends on shifting demand to match supply and reconceptualizing interactions between time and energy.

    • Elizabeth Shove
  • Renewable energy technologies do not always employ sustainable resources. The scarcity of cobalt supply must be addressed in transportation electrification.

  • The power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells has rapidly increased, yet significantly less attention has been paid to materials stability and device longevity. For organic solar cells to make an impact in the marketplace, researchers, funding agencies and journals should do more to address this crucial gap.

    • Quinn Burlingame
    • Melissa Ball
    • Yueh-Lin Loo
  • The renewal of Mission Innovation is important — but more targeted interventions are needed to deliver on necessary energy-innovation goals.

  • The Paris Agreement’s Mission Innovation initiative to accelerate government spending on clean energy research is currently succeeding in its quest to support carbon mitigation. It should be renewed for an additional five years, with increased ambition, and changed to better integrate the private sector.

    • Zdenka Myslikova
    • Kelly Sims Gallagher
  • Black and African American people face systematic disadvantages in energy costs and limited access to renewable energy benefits. Addressing these disparities is an important part of achieving racial justice.

  • Roughly 90% of the world’s energy use today involves generation or manipulation of heat over a wide range of temperatures. Here, we note five key applications of research in thermal energy that could help make significant progress towards mitigating climate change at the necessary scale and urgency.

    • Asegun Henry
    • Ravi Prasher
    • Arun Majumdar