Energy infrastructure

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Integrating river system and economy-wide models in a dynamic, iterative, bidirectional fashion allows assessing some economic impacts of interventions in river systems. Here the authors use this framework to compare water resources management strategies for the Nile in a quest for efficient use of the river’s limited and stressed water resources.

    • Mohammed Basheer
    • , Victor Nechifor
    •  & Julien J. Harou
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A single damage can lead to a complete collapse of supply networks due to a cascading failure mechanism. Kaiser et al. show that by adding new connections network isolators can be created, that can inhibit failure spreading relevant for power grids and water transmission systems.

    • Franz Kaiser
    • , Vito Latora
    •  & Dirk Witthaut
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The interactions between water molecules, electrode materials and anions are essential yet challenging for aqueous dual ion batteries. Here, the authors demonstrate the voltage manipulation of dual ion batteries through matching intercalation energy and solvation energy of different anions.

    • Zhaodong Huang
    • , Yue Hou
    •  & Chunyi Zhi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Converse symmetry breaking is a counterintuitive phenomenon in which the system must have an asymmetry to stabilize a symmetric state. Molnar et al. demonstrate this effect in real power-grid networks and show that synchronous operation can be improved by inhomogeneities across power generators.

    • Ferenc Molnar
    • , Takashi Nishikawa
    •  & Adilson E. Motter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For a given carbon budget between 2020 and 2050, different transformation rates for the European energy system yield starkly different results. Here the authors show that strongly reducing emissions in the first decade is cost-effective and entails additional benefits.

    • Marta Victoria
    • , Kun Zhu
    •  & Martin Greiner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Supply networks with optimal structure do not contain loops but these can arise as a result of damages or fluctuations. Here Kaiser et al. uncover the mechanisms of loop formation, predict their location and draw analogies with loop formation in biological networks such as plants and animal vasculature.

    • Franz Kaiser
    • , Henrik Ronellenfitsch
    •  & Dirk Witthaut
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fired brick is a universal building material, produced by thousand-year-old technology, which throughout history has seldom served any other purpose. Here, the authors show that bricks can store energy after chemical treatment to convert their iron oxide content into conducting polymer nanofibers.

    • Hongmin Wang
    • , Yifan Diao
    •  & Julio M. D’Arcy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The potential of seasonal pumped hydropower storage (SPHS) plant to fulfil future energy storage requirements is vast in mountainous regions. Here the authors show that SPHS costs vary from 0.007 to 0.2 US$ m−3 of water stored, 1.8 to 50 US$ MWh−1 of energy stored and 0.37 to 0.6 US$ GW−1 of installed power generation capacity.

    • Julian D. Hunt
    • , Edward Byers
    •  & Keywan Riahi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The plant-by-plant retirement needs are not well-understood yet to achieve the rapid transition away from coal use. Here the authors found that operational lifetimes of existing units must be reduced to approximately 35 years to keep warming well below 2 °C or 20 years for 1.5 °C, even if no new capacity comes online.

    • Ryna Yiyun Cui
    • , Nathan Hultman
    •  & Christine Shearer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantifying burden on hydropower units for balancing variable renewable energy sources has been uncertain and difficult. Herein Yang et al. propose a framework and characterize the burden, performance and compensation of hydropower regulation of renewable power systems.

    • Weijia Yang
    • , Per Norrlund
    •  & Urban Lundin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Carbon capture and storage can help reduce CO2 emissions but the confidence in geologic CO2 storage security is uncertain. Here the authors present a numerical programme to estimate leakage from wells and find that under appropriate regulation 98% of injected CO2 will be retained over 10,000 years.

    • Juan Alcalde
    • , Stephanie Flude
    •  & R. Stuart Haszeldine
  • Article
    | Open Access

    One way to improve the performance of supercapacitors is to use hybrid carbon nanomaterials. Here the authors show a bioinspired electrode design with graphene petals and carbon nanotube arrays serving as leaves and branchlets, respectively. The structure affords excellent electrochemical characteristics.

    • Guoping Xiong
    • , Pingge He
    •  & Timothy S. Fisher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The energy required to control a dynamical complex network can be prohibitively large when there are only a few control inputs. Here the authors demonstrate that if only a subset of the network is targeted the energy requirements decrease exponentially.

    • Isaac Klickstein
    • , Afroza Shirin
    •  & Francesco Sorrentino