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Volume 4 Issue 7, July 2019

Volume 4 Issue 7

Diminished returns

Harder to reach fossil fuels such as shale oil and gas, tar sands or offshore reserves require much more energy to extract than conventional oil and gas. Using extraction to end-use energy input estimates, Brockway et al. show that fossil fuel net energy might be close to that of renewables and to a theorized precipitous decline.

See Brockway et al.

Image: Petro Perutskyi/Alamy Stock Photo. Cover Design: Allen Beattie.


  • Editorial |

    With the various impacts of conference attendance evermore on our minds, there are many things we can do to get more out of them.

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Photocatalytic H2 production using semiconductors is a promising approach to store solar energy as a chemical fuel, but the oxidizing power of the excited holes is often wasted. Now, holes are harnessed in a dehydrocoupling strategy that simultaneously produces H2 and diesel fuel precursors from biomass-derived molecules.

    • Guanqun Han
    • Yujie Sun
  • News & Views |

    Lead in perovskite solar cells is a potential environmental and health hazard if it is released from accidentally damaged panels. Now, the encapsulation of perovskite solar cells with self-healing polymers is shown to significantly reduce the risk of lead leakage from hail impact under a variety of weather conditions.

    • Sarah Kajari-Schröder
  • News & Views |

    For emerging photovoltaic technologies to become commercially and technically viable, it is important to understand how performance in the laboratory translates to the field. A new study analyses the yearly changes in the energy yield of perovskite solar cells under simulated realistic temperature and irradiance conditions.

    • Jeff Kettle
  • News & Views |

    Fossil fuels have long been considered cheap compared to other energy sources, such as solar or wind. Researchers now show that with easy-to-access fossil fuels running out, the more productive renewables may be approaching and even exceeding oil and gas in net energy generation in many cases.

    • Graham Palmer


  • Review Article |

    Along with high energy density, fast-charging ability would enable battery-powered electric vehicles. Here Yi Cui and colleagues review battery materials requirements for fast charging and discuss future design strategies.

    • Yayuan Liu
    • Yangying Zhu
    • Yi Cui



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