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Volume 6 Issue 1, January 2021

Now we are five

Nature Energy launched its first issue five years ago. To mark the occasion, this month we take a look back at some of our past content and catch up with some of our early authors.

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Image: Anton Eine/Alamy Stock Photo. Cover Design: Thomas Phillips.


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



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Comment & Opinion

  • Publication record and technical expertise are essential but they are not the only aspects you need to work on to become competitive for permanent positions in academia. Michael Saliba discusses how actively looking for different experiences to develop his versatility has been vital for his career progress.

    • Michael Saliba
  • Getting down to research work and writing papers are two cornerstones of an academic career. But Behnam Ghalei reflects on how exposure to different ways of thinking and development of a practical skill set have been equally important to building his independent research profile.

    • Behnam Ghalei
  • Funding is essential to support the early stages of an academic career but isn’t the sole determinant of success. Huilin Pan discusses how personal development and supportive teams have been crucial to her development as an independent researcher.

    • Huilin Pan
  • Building an academic career increasingly calls for greater public engagement, particularly in subjects with more societal relevance such as climate change. Leah Stokes discusses some of the difficulties she has faced in striking a balance between her academic responsibilities and her public work.

    • Leah Stokes
  • Defining your own research questions and working with a clear direction in mind is key to a successful career in academia. Evangelia Spyrou explains how following her thirst for knowledge in her specific area of interest prepared her for when research opportunities arose.

    • Evangelia Spyrou
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  • 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
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News & Views

  • CO2 capture and its electrochemical conversion to valorized products are energy-intense processes. Now, researchers report that judicious control of the electrode interface and reactant transport unlock a lower energy pathway allowing direct conversion of CO2 from the captured state to CO.

    • Betar M. Gallant
    News & Views
  • While metal halide perovskite solar cells are extensively investigated in the lab their performance and degradation in real-world outdoor conditions are still poorly understood. Now, researchers propose a method to analyse field data to identify how and why the outdoor device performance changes over time.

    • Laura T. Schelhas
    • Joseph J. Berry
    News & Views
  • Vehicle electrification is essential for decarbonizing road transport but there are challenges around electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure planning. By analysing real-world travel data, a new study explores the potential for different charging and supplemental vehicle strategies to allow electric vehicles to meet current driver needs.

    • Lynette Cheah
    News & Views
  • Integrated urban energy–economy–climate scenarios can be built upon bottom-up models that simulate realistic system interactions. One such model for New York shows how electrification of the vehicle fleet and grid decarbonization can reduce carbon emissions and pollution.

    • Steven J. Smith
    News & Views
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  • Performance breakthroughs in rechargeable batteries are regularly reported in academic publications. Here the authors closely examine literature data on aluminium batteries and offer a realistic perspective on the technology.

    • Ehsan Faegh
    • Benjamin Ng
    • William E. Mustain
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  • Electrochemical conversion of CO2 into high-value products is attractive for lowering net carbon emissions. Lee et al. present the valorization of chemisorbed CO2 to CO in an aqueous monoethanolamine electrolyte via tailoring of the electrochemical double layer, with 72% Faradaic efficiency at 50 mA cm–2.

    • Geonhui Lee
    • Yuguang C. Li
    • Edward H. Sargent
  • The investigation of perovskite solar modules under outdoor conditions could provide insights into device operation and degradation in the field. Velilla et al. report on the potential of the ideality factor to analyse outdoor device performance evolution over time, distinguish between degradation modes and estimate the lifetime.

    • Esteban Velilla
    • Franklin Jaramillo
    • Iván Mora-Seró
  • Two-dimensional structures introduced into perovskite solar cells improve performance yet their morphological and dimensional control remains challenging. Jang et al. devise a solid-phase approach to grow phase-pure two-dimensional perovskites over bulk perovskite, which affords greater device efficiency and stability.

    • Yeoun-Woo Jang
    • Seungmin Lee
    • Jun Hong Noh
  • The concentration of rooftop solar photovoltaics among high-income households limits deployment and access to benefits. Here the authors find that some policy interventions and business models increased photovoltaic adoption equity in existing markets and shifted deployment to underserved communities.

    • Eric O’Shaughnessy
    • Galen Barbose
    • Naïm Darghouth
  • City-scale emission scenarios are critical for transport and energy sector policy making. Using a model that accounts for building stock and transportation fleets, Isik et al. visualize emission changes in the transport sector in New York City under various electric vehicle adoption and grid decarbonization scenarios.

    • Mine Isik
    • Rebecca Dodder
    • P. Ozge Kaplan
  • Current battery electric vehicles cannot meet all daily travel needs on a single charge. Wei et al. use travel survey data to model charging infrastructure scenarios under a range of battery sizes to find the best suite of charging options and use of supplemental vehicles to electrify personal vehicle transport.

    • Wei Wei
    • Sankaran Ramakrishnan
    • Jessika E. Trancik
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Amendments & Corrections

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