South Africa still struggles to ensure that all citizens enjoy modern energy services, just one example of how the U.N.’s International Year of Sustainable Energy for All aims to bring modern energy resources to the billions who lack it.
With population and per-capita consumption both on the rise, it’s hard to believe humanity’s impact on the Earth is sustainable. But what would happen if we ate less meat? Or gave women better education and more power? David Biello takes a critical look.
What if the ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide that are heating up the atmosphere could be used to produce an abundant supply of liquid fuels? The U.S. government and private labs are pursuing that Holy Grail of renewable energy—but for now the cost of large-scale production is prohibitive.
The world’s worst nuclear reactor mishap in 25 years was caused by a massive natural calamity but compounded by what appear to be surprising mistakes by Japanese engineers. The result has been a fast-moving disaster that has left officials careening from one emergency to the next.
Until now, geothermal technology has only been used on a small scale to produce power. But with major new projects now underway, deep geothermal systems may soon begin making a significant contribution to the world’s energy needs.