Chemists settle longstanding debate on how methane is made biologically
U-M News Service, feat. Stephen Ragsdale
Like the poet, microbes that make methane are taking chemists on a road less traveled: Of two competing ideas for how microbes make the main component of natural gas, the winning chemical reaction involves a molecule less favored by previous research, something called a methyl radical.
Over roughly the past 10 years, the United States has experienced remarkable growth in the production of natural gas and oil. This growth has taken place across dozens of regions, from the scrub of west Texas to the plains of North Dakota to the pastoral hills of Appalachia. It has sparked economic growth, raised environmental concerns and reduced energy prices.
Oil and gas development has increased substantially in the United States over the past decade, largely due to production from low-porosity rock formations subjected to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. This rapid growth has created a variety of opportunities and challenges for local governments across the country. Experts at this seminar will explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era. RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative.
The Great Lakes are one of our planet’s most valuable natural resources, providing drinking water to 40 million, generating tens of billions of dollars in economic activity annually and giving those of us lucky enough to live in Michigan an endless source of awe and inspiration.
Producers and crew from PBS's Nova series are visiting the Energy Institute's Battery Lab this week while filming a special on the future of energy storage and vehicle electrification. Battery Lab Manager Greg Less, along with Battery Fabrication Specialist Bill Hicks, are building batteries with host David Pogue, while Professors Levi Thompson, Jeff Sakamoto and Christian Lastoskie will guide the production team through their lab spaces and give interviews about their work. UMEI Director Mark Barteau will appear to discuss the future of energy storage and transportation.
Revised energy bill would still harm Michigan ratepayers, advocates say
Midwest Energy News
Michigan Senate Republicans spent the past six months revising a comprehensive energy policy proposal that brought fierce opposition from interest groups over electric choice, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Last week at Shell’s Eco-marathon Americas, the winning team from Quebec’s Université Laval achieved the equivalent of 2,584 miles per gallon with a car students designed and built themselves. This year, the company added a side event to the regular competition — a symposium entitled Powering Progress Together, which featured a number of prominent thinkers in fields related to motor transportation who came to share their views on the future of this critical sector.
Climate change is a potential threat to the welfare of mankind and its mitigation is becoming urgent. Nuclear energy, which provides one-fifth of U.S. electricity generation, is currently the leading utility-scale, carbon-free baseload power source in America. But it is expensive, controversial, and regulated in a way that poses challenges to technological innovation. So how does nuclear power fit into U.S. climate change mitigation goals going forward?
Held on April 21, the Shell Powering Progress Together forum brought together leaders from business, academia, NGOs and government from Detroit, the Great Lakes Region and the Americas for an interactive forum to discuss and debate opportunities and challenges of energy transitions and the climate challenge. This focused on the need for technology, policy and innovations in mobility and other key sectors to boost efficiency and supply more energy in an increasingly carbon constrained world.
What happens when a nuclear power plant is shut down Detroit News, feat. Catherine Hausman
Most climate debates have focused on cutting the use of coal in electricity production. But besides a few high profile scuffles over the transition to cleaner energy, political leaders have ignored nuclear power as a necessary component of an effective climate strategy.