Energy

The Big City, Subdivided for Sustainability

Two-thirds of people on the planet will live in cities by 2050. But few cities are prepared for this population boom. An upcoming research project will explore new, localized models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable places to live.

Photovoltaic array at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada

Where is Solar Power Headed?

To have a shot at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, we need to extricate our society from fossil fuels and ramp up our use of renewable energy. Where does solar energy stand today, and where does it need to go in order for us to make the transition to renewable energy?

by |July 21, 2015
Geochemist James Ross of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory installs an air-quality monitor in a home neighboring a hydraulic-fracturing drill pad. CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW

Hospitalizations Increase Near Fracking Sites, Study Shows

People living in areas of Pennsylvania where hydraulic fracturing is booming are suffering increasing rates of hospitalization, a new study says. The study is one of a small but growing number suggesting that the practice could be affecting human health.

by |July 16, 2015
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The Race for Better Batteries

The worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way, but to integrate all this variable power into the grid, battery storage is key. Researchers around the world are working on developing better and cheaper batteries.

by |June 12, 2015
Beijing, Beijing Week 2015

Beijing Program to Tackle Energy, Environmental Issues

The Earth Institute is taking an extra step to contribute to China’s environmental future by sponsoring the first Beijing Week on Energy and Environment, a week-long program this summer for emerging leaders and professionals in the fields of energy and environment.

by |May 1, 2015
Underground, carbon dioxide disperses through volcanic basalt, and solidifies into a substance similar to limestone. A geologist shows off a core taken from the injection zone.

In a Melting Iceland, Drilling Deep to Stem Climate Change

Iceland is pioneering a new technology to deal with climate change. Its Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, the world’s largest, hosts arguably the world’s most advanced program to capture and lock away globe-warming carbon dioxide.

by |April 13, 2015
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Photo Essay: Iceland at the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

Iceland has a complicated relationship with climate change. As in much of the far north, global warming is already exerting many effects here–arguably both good and bad. Yet the country contributes relatively little to the warming, since most of its energy comes from geothermal and hydro plants, which produce little carbon dioxide. Now, it is on the scientific cutting edge of the issue.

by |April 13, 2015
Full panel

Lessons in Sustainability Policy

On April 7, 2015, the Earth Institute hosted a panel event and reception on ‘Sustainability Policy: Progress and Opportunity.’ Over 170 students, faculty, and local professionals gathered in Low Library to hear a panel of experts speak about sustainability and the role of government. Panelists discussed local-level policy, the role of metrics, and what the future of sustainability requires.

by |April 9, 2015
China wind farm cr Land Rover Our Planet-crop

Paths to Decarbonization: A Live Twitter Q&A

@UNSDSN is hosting a live Twitter Q&A on Friday, Dec. 19, from 1-2 p.m. EST with Jim Williams, chief scientist at Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. and lead author on the U.S. Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project report. You can send in your questions before and during the live chat on Twitter or Facebook by using #USDDPP.

by |December 17, 2014
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The Politics of Fracking: Polarization in New York State

While public opinion is fairly skewed against the fracking process, policy actors in New York State can best be described as polarized. Predictably, the pro-fracking group generally disagrees with environmental groups while the anti-fracking group generally disagrees with the oil industry. Policy actors in New York had stark differences in answers on a wide variety of questions.

by |September 26, 2014