Volume 4, Issue 5
October 15, 2017 – October 21, 2017
Jason Mulderrig '18 | Will Atkinson '18 | Anushka Dasgupta '19


E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule October 9, 2017 | New York Times | Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced his proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the landmark climate policy of the Obama administration. The rule was designed to reduce power plant emissions by 32% in 2030 (from 2005 levels), in part by shifting from coal to natural gas and renewables, which are often cheaper. Still, the repeal is far from certain. In a talk last week, the previous EPA head Gina McCarthy said it could be struck down in court, given a 2009 “endangerment” ruling that requires the EPA to regulate carbon emissions. -WA

E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule
October 9, 2017 | New York Times | Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer
On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced his proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the landmark climate policy of the Obama administration. The rule was designed to reduce power plant emissions by 32% in 2030 (from 2005 levels), in part by shifting from coal to natural gas and renewables, which are often cheaper. Still, the repeal is far from certain. In a talk last week, the previous EPA head Gina McCarthy said it could be struck down in court, given a 2009 “endangerment” ruling that requires the EPA to regulate carbon emissions. -WA

Floating Wind Turbines on the High Seas Could Produce Massive Amounts of Power October 9, 2017 | IEEE Spectrum | Peter Fairley New wind turbine simulations published last Monday show that kinetic energy in the atmosphere extracted by wind turbines can be replenished more effectively over open ocean than on land due to more cyclonic weather systems that develop from the thermal interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. This could mean that deep off-shore wind farms made of floating wind turbines could be packed closer together than terrestrial wind farms, thus increasing the energy density of such off-shore wind farms. The news is timely; by the end of 2017, the world’s first floating turbine off-shore wind farm 25 km off the coast of Scotland will come online. -JPM

Floating Wind Turbines on the High Seas Could Produce Massive Amounts of Power
October 9, 2017 | IEEE Spectrum | Peter Fairley
New wind turbine simulations published last Monday show that kinetic energy in the atmosphere extracted by wind turbines can be replenished more effectively over open ocean than on land due to more cyclonic weather systems that develop from the thermal interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. This could mean that deep off-shore wind farms made of floating wind turbines could be packed closer together than terrestrial wind farms, thus increasing the energy density of such off-shore wind farms. The news is timely; by the end of 2017, the world’s first floating turbine off-shore wind farm 25 km off the coast of Scotland will come online. -JPM

Princeton Grads' Energy Startup Provides Power To Native Americans Protesting Oil Pipeline October 12, 2017 | Forbes | Neil Yeoh Princeton alums Angelo Campus ‘15 and Aaron Schwartz ‘17 were featured in Forbes this week for the work of “BoxPower,” their renewable energy startup. BoxPower provides off-grid renewable energy within a 20-foot shipping container, incorporating aspects of solar, wind, biodiesel and batteries for storage. The system is particularly useful for off-grid communities  like the Ramapough Lenape tribe, which is protesting an oil pipeline that could run through their New Jersey land. -WA

Princeton Grads' Energy Startup Provides Power To Native Americans Protesting Oil Pipeline
October 12, 2017 | Forbes | Neil Yeoh
Princeton alums Angelo Campus ‘15 and Aaron Schwartz ‘17 were featured in Forbes this week for the work of “BoxPower,” their renewable energy startup. BoxPower provides off-grid renewable energy within a 20-foot shipping container, incorporating aspects of solar, wind, biodiesel and batteries for storage. The system is particularly useful for off-grid communities  like the Ramapough Lenape tribe, which is protesting an oil pipeline that could run through their New Jersey land. -WA

Sodium-ion battery beats lithium for cost effectiveness October 10, 2017 | New Atlas | Michael Irving Even though lithium-ion batteries hold a dominating place in the global energy storage market today, large-scale battery projects push the cost of mining and refining the lithium needed to excessively high levels. Stanford University researchers have recently developed a sodium-ion battery with a sodium salt cathode and a phosphorus anode that could beat out lithium-ion batteries in cost per storage capacity. The volumetric density of the battery, which controls how large the battery needs to be to store a finite amount of energy, needs to be determined first before a full scale prototype can be constructed. -JPM MIT’s new flow battery breathes air to cut costs of renewable energy storage October 12, 2017 | New Atlas | Michael Irving Researchers from the lab of MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang have developed a new rechargeable flow battery that uses “breathes” air and is 20 percent of the cost of lithium-ion batteries (A rechargeable flow battery uses a liquid cathode and a liquid anode to pass ions back and forth during charge and discharge). The liquid anode is aqueous sulfur in water, while the liquid cathode is an oxygenated liquid salt solution. During discharge, the battery takes in air, and during recharge, the battery expels oxygen. The researchers now have to scale up their table-top prototype to a commercial-level prototype. -JPM

Sodium-ion battery beats lithium for cost effectiveness
October 10, 2017 | New Atlas | Michael Irving
Even though lithium-ion batteries hold a dominating place in the global energy storage market today, large-scale battery projects push the cost of mining and refining the lithium needed to excessively high levels. Stanford University researchers have recently developed a sodium-ion battery with a sodium salt cathode and a phosphorus anode that could beat out lithium-ion batteries in cost per storage capacity. The volumetric density of the battery, which controls how large the battery needs to be to store a finite amount of energy, needs to be determined first before a full scale prototype can be constructed. -JPM

MIT’s new flow battery breathes air to cut costs of renewable energy storage
October 12, 2017 | New Atlas | Michael Irving
Researchers from the lab of MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang have developed a new rechargeable flow battery that uses “breathes” air and is 20 percent of the cost of lithium-ion batteries (A rechargeable flow battery uses a liquid cathode and a liquid anode to pass ions back and forth during charge and discharge). The liquid anode is aqueous sulfur in water, while the liquid cathode is an oxygenated liquid salt solution. During discharge, the battery takes in air, and during recharge, the battery expels oxygen. The researchers now have to scale up their table-top prototype to a commercial-level prototype. -JPM