Energy From Air

Engineers at University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a method to generate electricity from air using two porous nanofilms that create an imbalance of charge between water droplets. Stacking this air-gen device could allow the technology to scale up to the kilowatt level of electricity generation.

Coal Mine Battery

Scientists published a paper in the Energies journal that outlines how to use abandoned coal mine shafts as batteries. The Underground Energy Storage (UGES) system raises containers of sand raised to the top of the mine to store the energy, which when released to fall generate electricity. Scottish company Gravitricity have developed and tested a similar system.

Podcast of The Week: Shortwave on Engineered Perennial Rice

This fascinating Shortwave episode describes how American scientists working with Chinese farmers have successfully engineered a strand of perennial rice and harvested it over mutiple crop years. Rice usually has to be planted from seed each year, which is labour intensive and harmful to the health of farm land. This perennial rice regrows each year without having to replanted, while also rejuvenating the land.

Geothermal Well Battery

Geothermal energy company Fervo Energy have discovered a way to utilise a geothermal well as a battery. By drilling cracks into geothermal hard rock, pumping lots of water in and sealing the well, the water can later be released at high pressure, allowing energy to be delivered at high output at times when renewables are generating low output.


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