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Volume 6 Issue 3, March 2021

Standing in the wind

Climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events putting energy infrastructure at risk. Bennett et al. develop a methodology to incorporate increasing extreme event risk into energy systems modelling and planning, and estimate the impact of improving grid resilience on the electricity cost for Puerto Rico.

See Bennett et al.

Image: FEMA / Alamy Stock Photo Cover Design: Thomas Phillips.

News & Views

  • Metal oxide photoanodes are promising for solar-driven water oxidation, but a greater understanding of surfaces is required to minimize efficiency losses. New research shows that controlling terminal compositions of otherwise identical facets of complex oxides has a profound impact on photoelectrochemical function.

    • Ian D. Sharp
    News & Views


  • Efforts to replace traditional energy sources with modern ones in developing countries have met with limited success. A new study sheds light on some of the contextual factors that inhibit this shift as well as opportunities for nudging poor households in the desired direction.

    • Temilade Sesan
    News & Views
  • Widespread adoption of thermal storage systems is limited by their complex transient response, which is dependent on material properties, module geometry and thermal load. Now, an approach to evaluate energy and power density adapted from electrochemical storage reveals design trade-offs in thermal storage modules.

    • Patrick J. Shamberger
    News & Views
  • Low-temperature operation of lithium batteries is notoriously challenging. However, tailoring the electrolyte structure may provide a pathway toward uniform lithium deposition and reversible operation of lithium metal anodes at low temperatures.

    • Kelsey B. Hatzell
    News & Views
  • Alkali metal electrodes paired with solid electrolyte separators show great promise in improving the energy density, safety and cost of batteries. Now, a deeper understanding of the effect of metal mechanical properties on a key failure mode creates opportunities for improved cycling performance.

    • Paul Albertus
    News & Views
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  • High-performance solid-state electrolytes are key to enabling solid-state batteries that hold great promise for future energy storage. The authors survey the fabrication process of thin-film versus thick oxide-based solid-state electrolytes and discuss their material design and processing options.

    • Moran Balaish
    • Juan Carlos Gonzalez-Rosillo
    • Jennifer L. M. Rupp
    Review Article
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Tales of Invention

  • 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
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