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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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.
Ten years ago, hydraulic fracturing barely existed. Today 45,000 fracked wells produce natural gas, providing energy for millions of homes and businesses, and nearly a quarter of the nation’s electricity. But scientists are far behind in understanding how this boom affects people near wells. Geochemists Beizhan Yan and James Ross of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are trying to fill in this gap.
On Monday, June 2, President Obama will announce proposed federal rules aimed at curbing carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants–possibly a landmark in U.S. climate policy. It is uncertain how far the rule will go, and the announcement is being closely watched around the world.