In Mexico, some farmers are exploring the use of Opuntia, the prickly pear cactus, as a new biofuel crop and a potential replacement for single-use plastics. Rogelio Sosa López first began using opuntia, known as “nopal” to locals, in an attempt to cut operating costs on his farm. While sometimes used for food and drink, nopales are not a major source of either, which is great news as increased demand for nopales for energy purposes would not put stress on food prices.
A team of scientists at Stanford University have developed a way to convert seawater into hydrogen. Problematic to scientists looking to electrolyze seawater, chloride causes corrosion of the metal anode and desalination processes can be costly. However, researchers at Stanford University have developed a process to skip the costly desalination and stabilize the anode. The electrolysis of water can only be a clean hydrogen production method, the electricity must come from a renewable energy source. Therefore, the researchers teamed up with a solar cell research group to create a solar-powered seawater electrolyzer.
A first-of-its-kind master’s program, in wind energy engineering to be offered at Tufts University. As offshore wind projects continue to line up for construction in the U.S. and Europe, students see an opportunity to be among the first to specialize in the field. Massachusetts is already leading the way in the offshore wind development, with the first commercial scale 800 MW wind farm construction by Vineyard Wind.
While you may already know that drastic temperatures and weather can cause death to individuals, you may not realize how affordable and stable energy prices can help combat this. For those with enough money to own larger homes, typically they can afford fluctuations in energy costs – but for those who live at or below the poverty line, higher energy prices lead to households having to do without necessities like heat in the winter, medicine or groceries. Thankfully, the shale boom of the U.S. has led to lower natural gas prices that heat numerous homes across the U.S.
The Department of Energy recently announced $70 million to fund early-stage research in advancing cybersecurity and energy efficient manufacturing. With the manufacturing and industrial sector of the U.S. accounting for roughly 25% of the nation’s energy usage, just the implementation of automated sensors and controls could decrease energy usage by 15%.