Experts anticipate significant continued reductions in wind energy costs

Technology advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey of the world’s foremost wind power experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Experts anticipate cost reductions of 24%-30% by 2030 and 35%-41% by 2050, under a median or ‘best guess’ scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements (see Figure 1).

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Water helps assembly of biofibers that could capture sunlight

When it comes to water, some materials have a split personality – and some of these materials could hold the key to new ways of harnessing solar energy.

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Manipulation of liquid crystals could help control drug-delivery process

Liquid crystals are strange substances, both fish and fowl. They can flow like a liquid, but have the orderly molecular structure of a crystalline solid. And that internal structure can be changed by small cues from outside.

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Chemists offer enhanced 3-D look inside batteries

A team of chemists has developed a method to yield highly detailed, three-dimensional images of the insides of batteries. The technique, based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), offers an enhanced approach to monitor the condition of these power sources in real time.

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USC quantum computing researchers reduce quantum information processing errors

Quantum computing remains mysterious and elusive to many, but USC Viterbi School of Engineering researchers might have taken us one step closer to bring such super-powered devices to practical reality.   The USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Information Sciences Institute is home to the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center (QCC), a super-cooled, magnetically shielded facility specially built to house the first commercially available quantum optimization processors – devices so advanced that there are currently only two in use outside the Canadian company D-Wave Systems Inc., where they were built: The first one went to USC and Lockheed Martin, and the second to NASA and Google.

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Scientists discover light could exist in a previously unknown form

New research suggests that it is possible to create a new form of light by binding light to a single electron, combining the properties of both.

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Newly discovered ‘blue whirl’ fire tornado burns cleaner for reduced emissions

Fire tornados, or ‘fire whirls,’ pose a powerful and essentially uncontrollable threat to life, property, and the surrounding environment in large urban and wildland fires. But now, a team of researchers in the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering say their discovery of a type of fire tornado they call a ‘blue whirl’ could lead to beneficial new approaches for reducing carbon emissions and improving oil spill cleanup.

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