Volume 7, Issue 4
March 10, 2018 – March 16, 2019
Neha Chauhan '21 | Joseph Kawalec '21 | Amy Amatya '21 | Patrick Huang ‘21 | Rei Zhang ‘21 | Sabrina Reguyal ‘22

Is Onboard Hydrogen Storage The Future Of Zero Emission Vehicles?   March 3, 2019 | Forbes | Robert Rapier  For this article, Forbes reporter Robert Rapier contacted Australian-Israeli startup Electriq~Global to understand more about how their technology behind onboard hydrogen storage could become the future of zero emission vehicles. Essentially, a hydride named potassium borohydride would act as the fuel, and would react with water to release hydrogen. This reaction would only occur in the presence of a certain catalyst, which would allow for the hydride to release hydrogen on demand. A vehicle that obtains energy using this method would produce zero carbon emissions, and there are no currently obvious technical issues with this mode of transportation. -JK

Is Onboard Hydrogen Storage The Future Of Zero Emission Vehicles?
March 3, 2019 | Forbes | Robert Rapier
For this article, Forbes reporter Robert Rapier contacted Australian-Israeli startup Electriq~Global to understand more about how their technology behind onboard hydrogen storage could become the future of zero emission vehicles. Essentially, a hydride named potassium borohydride would act as the fuel, and would react with water to release hydrogen. This reaction would only occur in the presence of a certain catalyst, which would allow for the hydride to release hydrogen on demand. A vehicle that obtains energy using this method would produce zero carbon emissions, and there are no currently obvious technical issues with this mode of transportation. -JK


Spacecrafts’ solar panels can serve double-duty as sails   March 7, 2019 | The Economist  Typically, satellites navigate in orbit using thrusters that burn fuel, which will eventually run out. One fuel-free satellite repositioning method uses a technique called differential drag. In lower orbits (less than 650 km above the Earth’s surface), air molecules from the Earth's atmosphere are relatively abundant and create more drag, causing satellites to move more slowly than those in higher orbits. Changing the effective drag can be accomplished by applying torque that adjusts the orientation of the satellite. Another alternative process involves harnessing the pressure from the bombardment of light onto solar panels to accelerate satellites into higher orbits. These developments may prolong the lifespan of satellites by limiting or entirely removing constraints caused by fuel. -PH

Spacecrafts’ solar panels can serve double-duty as sails
March 7, 2019 | The Economist
Typically, satellites navigate in orbit using thrusters that burn fuel, which will eventually run out. One fuel-free satellite repositioning method uses a technique called differential drag. In lower orbits (less than 650 km above the Earth’s surface), air molecules from the Earth's atmosphere are relatively abundant and create more drag, causing satellites to move more slowly than those in higher orbits. Changing the effective drag can be accomplished by applying torque that adjusts the orientation of the satellite. Another alternative process involves harnessing the pressure from the bombardment of light onto solar panels to accelerate satellites into higher orbits. These developments may prolong the lifespan of satellites by limiting or entirely removing constraints caused by fuel. -PH


India’s Clean Energy Revolution Needs to Start And End With Rural Consumers    March 4, 2019 | Forbes | Nishtha Chugh  India’s two-decade-long electrification movement has become a global success story in the energy world. Since 2000, nearly half a billion Indians have gained access to energy, and in 2018 India was the largest market for standalone solar products. However, millions of rural households remain without electricity. Despite claims that India is “100% electrified,” a village only needs 10% of its buildings to be connected to the grid in order for Indian officials to deem it “electrified,” and there remains widespread dissatisfaction over unreliable energy; instead, those in rural regions are turning to their own non-grid solutions (including private solar power grids). -AA

India’s Clean Energy Revolution Needs to Start And End With Rural Consumers 
March 4, 2019 | Forbes | Nishtha Chugh
India’s two-decade-long electrification movement has become a global success story in the energy world. Since 2000, nearly half a billion Indians have gained access to energy, and in 2018 India was the largest market for standalone solar products. However, millions of rural households remain without electricity. Despite claims that India is “100% electrified,” a village only needs 10% of its buildings to be connected to the grid in order for Indian officials to deem it “electrified,” and there remains widespread dissatisfaction over unreliable energy; instead, those in rural regions are turning to their own non-grid solutions (including private solar power grids). -AA


Before Saudi Arabia Goes Nuclear, It May Have to Follow Iran’s Footsteps    March 6, 2019 | Bloomberg | Jonathan Tirone  An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference in Vienna this week has brought to the fore issues of regulation and monitoring of nuclear energy programs. Among these issues are concerns about Saudi ambitions for energy generation diversification. Saudi Arabia, though it is the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, has recently begun looking into nuclear energy with the hopes of addressing rising power consumption and desalination costs; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and increasing oil available for export. According to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, Riyadh is expected to complete its first research reactor by the end of the year and has plans to mine uranium reserves. This conference comes a month after the U.S. Congress began investigating the possibility of illegal transfer of sensitive technologies into Saudi Arabia. -SR

Before Saudi Arabia Goes Nuclear, It May Have to Follow Iran’s Footsteps
March 6, 2019 | Bloomberg | Jonathan Tirone
An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference in Vienna this week has brought to the fore issues of regulation and monitoring of nuclear energy programs. Among these issues are concerns about Saudi ambitions for energy generation diversification. Saudi Arabia, though it is the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, has recently begun looking into nuclear energy with the hopes of addressing rising power consumption and desalination costs; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and increasing oil available for export. According to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, Riyadh is expected to complete its first research reactor by the end of the year and has plans to mine uranium reserves. This conference comes a month after the U.S. Congress began investigating the possibility of illegal transfer of sensitive technologies into Saudi Arabia. -SR


Biomass battle: lawsuit challenges EU on ‘renewable energy’ definition   March 6, 2019 | Electrek | Phil Dzikiy  In 2016, the European Union allocated biomass as renewable energy in the  Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), their revised plan to increase the amount of renewable energy used in Europe by 2030. The EU is heavily relying on burning wood to help lessen their reliance on coal. However, a new lawsuit backed by six countries was submitted to the European General Court to challenge the EU’s increasing reliance on biomass. The plaintiffs charge that using biomass increases logging and forest destruction. Over 800 scientists signed a letter stating that burning biomass should not be considered acceptable to reach renewable energy targets, whereas the EPA, USDA, and DOE disagree, affirming that biomass is carbon neutral. -RZ

Biomass battle: lawsuit challenges EU on ‘renewable energy’ definition
March 6, 2019 | Electrek | Phil Dzikiy
In 2016, the European Union allocated biomass as renewable energy in the Renewable Energy Directive(RED II), their revised plan to increase the amount of renewable energy used in Europe by 2030. The EU is heavily relying on burning wood to help lessen their reliance on coal. However, a new lawsuit backed by six countries was submitted to the European General Court to challenge the EU’s increasing reliance on biomass. The plaintiffs charge that using biomass increases logging and forest destruction. Over 800 scientists signed a letter stating that burning biomass should not be considered acceptable to reach renewable energy targets, whereas the EPA, USDA, and DOE disagree, affirming that biomass is carbon neutral. -RZ