Scientists release final report, recommendations from the 2016 US National Ocean Exploration Forum

Ocean explorers need to think "beyond the ships" and plan ahead to an age of SuBastian and the Roboats—a new world of marine technology characterized by autonomy, sensors, precision, miniaturization, machine learning and artificial intelligence, telepresence, better forms of energy storage, and sharing to boost asset utilization.

That's among the major recommendations emerging from the US 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum, "Beyond the Ships: 2020-2025," delivered in a final report released today.

Using kinetics, not temperature, to make ceramic coatings

Researcher Pylin Sarobol explains an elegant process for ultrafine-grained ceramic coatings in a somewhat inelegant way: sub-micron particles splatting onto a surface.

That splatting action is a key part of a Sandia National Laboratories project to lay down ceramic coatings kinetically. By making high-velocity submicron ceramic particles slam onto surfaces at room temperature, Sarobol and her colleagues avoid the high temperatures otherwise required to process ceramics like alumina and barium titanate.

Uranium from seawater factors into nuclear power

Trace amounts of uranium exist in seawater, but efforts to extract that critical ingredient for nuclear power have produced insufficient quantities to make it a viable source for those countries that lack uranium mines. A practical method for extracting that uranium, which produces higher quantities in less time, could help make nuclear power a viable part of the quest for a carbon-free energy future.

How South Australia can function reliably while moving to 100% renewable power

Despite the criticism levelled at South Australia over its renewable energy ambitions, the state is nevertheless aiming to be carbon neutral by mid-century, which will mean moving to 100% renewable electricity over the next 15-20 years.

The biggest challenge will be meeting the 2-3 hours of peak demand during the evenings, when wind generation happens to be low. This will require a mix of different technologies and strategies, including solar, wind, storage, and possibly a new interconnector to New South Wales.

Oil exporter Saudi starts hunt for solar, wind firms

The world's biggest oil exporter on Monday took the first step towards a goal of generating 9.5 GW of energy through solar and other renewable means.

It invited local and international firms to try to qualify for bidding on two projects.

One is for 300 MW of solar energy to be built in Al-Jouf province, in the kingdom's north.

The second is for a 400 MW wind power development in Tabuk, northwestern Saudi Arabia, the energy ministry said in a statement.

Government estimates say Saudi peak energy demand is expected to exceed 120 gigawatts by 2032.

Reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions—promotion or steering?

Policy interventions to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions have a variety of effects on the economy and on households. A study carried out as part of the National Research Programme "Managing Energy Consumption" (NRP 71) has provided the first detailed impact assessment of the efficiency and social balance of the energy policy measures "steering" and "promotion".