Volume 1

  • No. 12 December 2016

    A solar window of opportunity

    Luminescent solar concentrators absorb light at certain wavelengths and re-emit it at longer ones, and can be exploited for building-integrated photovoltaic applications. Li et al. build luminescent solar concentrators using quantum dots and large-area glass slabs (as seen here), which they incorporate with photovoltaic panels to construct solar energy-harvesting windows.

    See Li et al. 1, 16157 (2016).

  • No. 11 November 2016

    Duration matters

    Measuring the relevance of different dimensions of electricity provision is complex, especially in rural environments and developing countries, but it provides important information to define access policy priorities. Aklin et al. survey 8,568 households in rural India and find that an increase in the number of hours of electricity per day provides greater satisfaction to end users than reliability or stability.

    See Aklin et al. 1, 16170 (2016).

  • No. 10 October 2016

    Energized elections

    The US energy agenda is critical in determining responses to issues such as climate change, unconventional oil and gas development, and research and development of alternative clean energy technologies, both at home and abroad. In this issue, we explore how the forthcoming presidential elections may influence this agenda through new policies and programmes, and how the outcome may change the energy landscape in the US and beyond.

    See Nature Energy 1, 16168 (2016).

  • No. 9 September 2016

    Batteries at the crossroads

    Post lithium-ion battery strategies have long been proposed to achieve higher energy output and longer lifespans than lithium-ion batteries. Despite tremendous research efforts and improvements, questions remain as to whether they will realise their full market potential. In this issue, we highlight important advances in key aspects of fundamental processes in four representative post lithium-ion batteries, which lay foundations for their future development.

    See Nature Energy 1, 16147 (2016).

  • No. 8 August 2016

    The many facets of efficiency

    The local structural properties of organic–inorganic perovskites affect their photovoltaic response, but it is challenging to quantify such effects at the scale of single grains. Leblebici et al. show that such properties are heterogeneous within individual grains due to a facet-dependent density of trap states.

    See Leblebici et al. 1, 16093 (2016).

  • No. 7 July 2016

    Knowing the unknowns

    The recent low oil prices and their continued uncertainty are affecting global markets and raising concerns about what the future may look like. McCollum et al. use a series of scenarios to explore the impacts of different oil price futures on the broader energy system and their key uncertainties.

    See McCollum et al. 1, 16077 (2016).

  • No. 6 June 2016

    Great winds of China

    China has the world’s largest installed wind capacity, yet its electricity generation from wind is not on par with that of the US. Lu et al. quantify the relative contributions of wind power curtailment, lower turbine quality and delayed grid connection to the sub-optimal electricity generation in China.

    See Lu et al. 1, 16061 (2016) and News & Views by Joanna Lewis, article 16076.

  • No. 5 May 2016

    Power grids put to the test

    Failures in power distribution grids can affect thousands of customers but understanding their causes remains elusive. Ji et al. analyse large-scale power outage data during both a hurricane and daily operations and find that local failures disproportionally affect non-local regions of grid infrastructure.

    See Ji et al. 1, 16052 (2016).

  • No. 4 April 2016

    Solidifying superionic electrolytes

    Solid-state batteries are a promising beyond-lithium-ion technology, but their development largely hinges on the availability of solid electrolytes with high ionic conductivity. Kato et al. now report an inorganic solid electrolyte with a room-temperature conductivity of about 25 mS cm-1 and demonstrate its use in a solid-state battery.

    See Kato et al. 1, 16030 (2016).

  • No. 3 March 2016

    Driving change

    Development of alternative fuel technologies to decarbonize transport requires support from industry, policy and society, yet their interest in specific options has changed over time. Melton et al. analyse data on media, innovation and funding attention for a range of alternative fuels to assess how their adoption might be better supported.

    See Melton et al. 1, 16013 (2016).

  • No. 2 February 2016

    Damp-proofing perovskites

    Perovskite solar cells have recently taken centre stage in photovoltaic research thanks to their high efficiency in converting solar radiation into electricity. However, they are affected by poor stability, partly caused by moisture. Yang et al. now report a water-resistant layer that protects the surface of the perovskite device from moisture in high-humidity environments.

    See Yang et al. 1, 15016 (2016).

  • No. 1 January 2016

    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).