206 Items

Solar panels at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory gather sunlight at the test facility

AP/Jack Dempsey

Journal Article - MRS Energy & Sustainability

Nurturing Transformative U.S. Energy Research: Two Guiding Principles

The authors raise for debate and discussion what in their opinion is a growing mis-control and mis-protection of U.S. energy research. They outline the origin of this mis-control and mis-protection, and propose two guiding principles to mitigate them and instead nurture research: (1) focus on people, not projects; and (2) culturally insulate research from development, but not science from technology.

newer design of a nuclear reactor

DOE/Advanced Reactor Technology

Journal Article - Nature Energy

A Tortoise Approach for US Nuclear Research and Development

| July 30, 2018

In Aesop's fable, a swift hare races with a deliberate tortoise. In the end, the tortoise wins by taking a slow and steady approach. The authors argue that, given the economic constraints on US deployment of nuclear power, a "tortoise strategy" is more prudent for US government nuclear R&D efforts.

rendering of Carbon Engineering’s air capture design

Courtesy of Carbon Engineering

Journal Article - Joule

A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere

  • Geoffrey Holmes
  • David St. Angelo
  • Kenton Heidel
| 2018

The authors describe a process for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere in an industrial plant. The design captures ∼1 Mt-CO2/year in a continuous process using an aqueous KOH sorbent coupled to a calcium caustic recovery loop. They describe the design rationale, summarize performance of the major unit operations, and provide a capital cost breakdown developed with an independent consulting engineering firm. They report results from a pilot plant that provides data on performance of the major unit operations.

Dr. Arun Majumdar

DOE/Ken Shipp

Journal Article - Research Policy

Simultaneous Pursuit of Discovery and Invention in the US Department of Energy

There is a sharp boundary between basic and applied research in the organizational structure of the US Department of Energy (DOE). In this work, the authors consider a branch of DOE that was designed to operate across this boundary: the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E). They hypothesize that much of energy research cannot be neatly categorized as basic or applied and is more productive outside of the confines of the basic/applied dichotomy; ARPA-E provides an opportunity to test that hypothesis.

Earth at night, 2012. People around the world depend upon electric lighting. Generating electricity using increased amounts of non-fossil fuels is critical to slowing climate change.

Journal Article - Ecological Economics

Using Inclusive Wealth for Policy Evaluation: Application to Electricity Infrastructure Planning in Oil-Exporting Countries

| 2017

Decision-makers often seek to design policies that support sustainable development. Prospective evaluations of how effectively such policies are likely to meet sustainability goals have nonetheless remained relatively challenging. Evaluating policies against sustainability goals can be facilitated through the inclusive wealth framework, which characterizes development in terms of the value to society of its underlying capital assets, and defines development to be potentially sustainable if that value does not decline over time.

A rural stove using biomass cakes, fuelwood and trash as cooking fuel... It is a major source of air pollution in India, and produces smoke and numerous indoor air pollutants at concentrations 5 times higher than coal.


Journal Article - Nature Energy

Energy decisions reframed as justice and ethical concerns

| 6 May 2016

Many energy consumers, and even analysts and policymakers, confront and frame energy and climate risks in a moral vacuum, rarely incorporating broader social justice concerns. Here, to remedy this gap, we investigate how concepts from justice and ethics can inform energy decision-making by reframing five energy problems — nuclear waste, involuntary resettlement, energy pollution, energy poverty and climate change — as pressing justice concerns.

teaser image

Journal Article - Climatic Change

Expert Views — and Disagreements — About the Potential of Energy Technology R&D

| June 2016

In order to make R&D funding decisions to meet particular goals, such as mitigating climate change or improving energy security, or to estimate the social returns to R&D, policy makers need to combine the information provided in this study on cost reduction potentials with an analysis of the macroeconomic implications of these technological changes. The authors conclude with recommendations for future directions on energy expert elicitations.

Journal Article - Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Technology Life-cycles in the Energy Sector — Technological Characteristics and the Role of Deployment for Innovation

  • Tobias S Schmidt
  • Jan Ossenbrink
  • Volker H. Hoffmann
| In Press

Understanding the long-term patterns of innovation in energy technologies is crucial for technology forecasting and public policy planning in the context of climate change. This paper analyzes which of two common models of innovation over the technology life-cycle — the product-process innovation shift observed for mass-produced goods or the system-component shift observed for complex products and systems — best describes the pattern of innovation in energy technologies.

Oil Pump Jack between Seminole and Andrews, West Texas

Paul Lowry, Creative Commons

Newspaper Article - The Wall Street Journal

What Will the U.S. Energy Industry Look Like Over the Next Five Years?

| November 15, 2015

Professor Meghan O'Sullivan was interviewed on November 15th, 2015 for a Wall Street Journal special section on energy, discussing the rapid transformation of the American energy sector in light of low fuel prices, new climate policies and other factors.