Making Sense of Trump’s Surprising Investment in Solar

Making Sense of Trump’s Surprising Investment in Solar

Making Sense of Trump’s Surprising Investment in Solar

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it will invest $62 million to advance the state of concentrated solar power, at the apparent expense of solar photovoltaics that so far have roundly bested the rival renewable technology in the marketplace (see “One of the World’s Largest Solar Facilities Is in Trouble”).

The press release trumpeted that the solar sector has already achieved the stated 2020 goal of the department’s SunShot Initiative, namely lowering the price of power from utility-scale, photovoltaic plants to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. It added that the DOE will continue research to decrease those costs, but stressed “new funding programs will focus on a broader scope of (Trump administration) priorities, which includes early-stage research to address solar energy’s critical challenges of grid reliability, resilience, and storage.”

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India and China Are Emerging as Climate Icons

India and China Are Emerging as Climate Icons

India and China Are Emerging as Climate Icons

Donald Trump is trying his best to ensure that America burns coal, whatever the implications to the planet. While that’s unpalatable for many U.S. citizens, the good news for the rest of the world is that money will continue to be spent on developing renewable energy, and carbon dioxide emissions will still fall—but it will be largely thanks to two unlikely climate saviors: India and China.

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India and China Are Emerging as Climate Icons

India and China Are Emerging as Climate Icons

India and China Are Emerging as Climate Icons

Donald Trump is trying his best to ensure that America burns coal, whatever the implications to the planet. While that’s unpalatable for many U.S. citizens, the good news for the rest of the world is that money will continue to be spent on developing renewable energy, and carbon dioxide emissions will still fall—but it will be largely thanks to two unlikely climate saviors: India and China.

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What’s at Stake as Trump Takes Aim at Clean Energy Research

What’s at Stake as Trump Takes Aim at Clean Energy Research

What’s at Stake as Trump Takes Aim at Clean Energy Research

Clean energy researchers are bracing for federal funding cuts that could stunt the development of sustainable technologies, amid reports the Trump administration intends to shut down or slash resources for a long list of Department of Energy programs.

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Berkeley Lab Program Champions Neglected Energy Entrepreneurs

Berkeley Lab Program Champions Neglected Energy Entrepreneurs

Berkeley Lab Program Champions Neglected Energy Entrepreneurs

These are tough days for anyone hoping to commercialize an energy venture, as the federal government looks to slash research funding, and venture capitalists mostly sidestep the sector. But one refuge for energy entrepreneurs is Cyclotron Road, a cross between a fellowship program and startup incubator at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, established to help turn early science into viable companies.

The program, funded by the Department of Energy, is announcing 10 new members on Wednesday. They include Marigold Power cofounder David Bierman, who did pioneering work on solar thermophotovoltaics at MIT (see “Hot Solar Cells”); Microbyre founder Sarah Richardson, previously a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley Lab, who is focused on engineering bacteria to more efficiently produce biofuels and other products; and Astrileux founder Supriya Jaiswal, a physicist with multiple degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Virginia, who is developing next-generation semiconductors.

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Paris Isn’t the Only Clean Energy Pact the U.S. Is Fleeing

Paris Isn’t the Only Clean Energy Pact the U.S. Is Fleeing

Paris Isn’t the Only Clean Energy Pact the U.S. Is Fleeing

Energy ministers from around the world traveled to Beijing this week for a series of meetings on international efforts to accelerate the shift to clean energy, including the Mission Innovation pact aimed at doubling government funding for research and development.

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