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Volume 1 Issue 1, January 2016

Volume 1 Issue 1

Fuel for the future

Our energy systems are undergoing large-scale changes as we try to overcome many societal and environmental challenges. Doing this successfully requires the efforts of many different researchers across a range of technologies and systems, each of which faces their own issues and concerns for the future.

See Armstrong et al. 1, 15020 (2016).

IMAGE:  poliki/iStock/Thinkstock COVER DESIGN: Alex Wing

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Energy systems around the globe are changing in response to new technological developments and environmental and social pressures. Making the most of these changes requires a concerted effort from academia, industry and government — an effort Nature Energy intends to support.

Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    Climate change mitigation requires gigatonne-scale CO2 removal technologies, yet few examples exist beyond niche markets. The flexibility of thermochemical conversion of biomass and fossil energy, coupled with carbon capture and storage, offers a route to commercializing carbon-negative energy.

    • Daniel L. Sanchez
    •  & Daniel M. Kammen
  • Comment |

    Energy storage will play a key role in increasing the use of variable energy sources. Nonetheless, storage is not the only balancing option and the overall design of power systems will incorporate a range of flexible generation, storage and grid-balancing options of different types and scales.

    • David Elliott

Features

  • Feature |

    Meeting the world's energy needs requires the collective efforts of many different actors across a range of technologies and approaches. In this Feature, ten leading experts in energy research share their vision of the challenges their respective fields must address in the coming decades.

    • Robert C. Armstrong
    • , Catherine Wolfram
    •  & M. V. Ramana

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The open-circuit voltage is one of the parameters determining the efficiency of solar cells in converting solar radiation to electricity. Reducing the structural disorder in fullerene electron-transport layers is now shown to significantly improve the open-circuit voltage of perovskite solar cells.

    • Yanfa Yan
  • News & Views |

    Household energy conservation can help to significantly lower energy consumption. Visual cues provided by thermal imaging of heat loss in buildings are now shown to increase energy conserving behaviours and implementations among homeowners more effectively than just performing carbon footprint audits.

    • Linda Steg
  • News & Views |

    Ensuring safety during operation is a major issue in the development of lithium-ion batteries. Coating the electrode current collector with thermoresponsive polymer composites is now shown to rapidly shut the battery down when it overheats, and to quickly resume its function when normal operating conditions return.

    • Khalil Amine
  • News & Views |

    The sustainable production of hydrogen is key to the delivery of clean energy in a hydrogen economy; however, lower-cost alternatives to platinum electrocatalysts are needed. Now, isolated, earth-abundant cobalt atoms dispersed over nitrogen-doped graphene are shown to efficiently electrolyse water to generate hydrogen.

    • Aiqin Wang
    •  & Tao Zhang

Reviews

Research

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