Giant Leaps and Small Steps for Energy Technology

President Kennedy's 1961 speech launched the Apollo Program. Imagine if he had invoked the spirit of the Roaring '20s and the technology of the first radio broadcasts. That's the time span that separates today from the Apollo and, even longer, from the Manhattan projects that were embraced as archetypes for 21st century energy policy. While…

The Automobile Shifts Gears

The future of the automobile is being fought on the two stages of politics and raw capitalism. No surprise, given that cars are at the epicenter of not only oil demand and manufacturing might, but also technology deployment. Both presidential aspirants (cars seem to bring out the inner dweeb in the candidates) have tech-centric future-car…

Brownout

What happens when you don't build more power plants? Get ready for spiking electricity rates, brownouts and even blackouts as demand soars. If you think runaway oil prices are upsetting, just wait for what's in store for electricity. Similar forces are in play. Demand is rising fast; supply is not.

Go Long on Lithium

Everyone wants his laptop, or smart phone, to run a week between recharges. Of course while playing a hi-def movie or surfing the Net, respectively.  Verizon Communications would like its cell towers to run at least a day, instead of minutes, during power outages. The military would like its slick but power-hungry communications and surveillance…

The LED Illumination Revolution

Apparently, it's time to ban Edison's venerable, now vilified, light bulb. European leaders, green pundits and the widely reported light bulb provisions of the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 all urgently push the abandonment of incandescent bulbs. The plan appears to be to convince everyone to switch to compact fluorescent lights (CFL),…