As a retiring member and the outgoing chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I can no longer set that agenda, but I can recommend the issues that still need Congressional attention and action. Headlines claiming that Congress is making a “return to science” are ignoring years of progress on policies advancing research, STEM education, and space exploration. America’s continued success in technology, innovation, and energy development depends on a Science Committee that commits to working toward these goals.
The United States is on track for the lowest yearly coal consumption in nearly four decades, the federal government said Tuesday. The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the nonpartisan data arm of the Energy Department, said it is expecting coal use to fall 4 percent, to 691 million short tons, for 2018. That would be the lowest level since 1979.
Coal's inability to compete in the energy market is a major reason for its decline. Utilities have cited higher costs of maintenance, aging plants and regulatory uncertainty for their decision to close down. The closures come despite various administration attempts to subsidize the fossil fuel, and promises that coal was key to the government's energy independence goal. The shifting public opinion on coal has also likely added to its demise, with many consumers opting for cleaner forms of energy.
South Korea’s SK Innovation said on Monday it will spend 1.14 trillion won ($1.01 billion) to build its first electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the United States to better compete in the global EV battery market. The plant will have an annual capacity of 9.8 gigawatt-hours of batteries. SK Innovation will begin construction in the southeast U.S. state of Georgia in early 2019, with production targeted for 2022, the company said in a statement.
Over 100 people gathered off the tip of Long Island this month to roleplay a cyberattack that takes out the U.S. electric grid for weeks on end.
Sales are surging, but the costs of building the associated infrastructure suggest this will be a lengthy transition. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all drive without dirtying the air we breathe? Alas, not everyone can afford an electric car.
Most of the reactors operating around the world--including the ones at Fukushima and almost all of the 100 or so plants operating in the U.S.--were built from designs drafted during the slide-rule era and adapted from reactors used on aircraft carriers and submarines.
Phone makers promise "all-day battery life." Sure, and you haven't stolen any of the kids' Halloween candy. If you recently bought a new flagship phone, chances are its battery life is actually worse than an older model.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center has signed a contract with Cray for NERSC’s next-generation supercomputer, a pre-exascale machine slated to be delivered in 2020. Named “Perlmutter,” in honor of Berkeley Lab’s Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter, it is the first NERSC system specifically designed to meet the needs of large-scale simulations as well as data analysis from experimental and observational facilities.
According to the Consumer Energy Alliance, STEM Education a must for the next generation of energy workers and a coordinated response is needed to address the education deficit.