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Motorists drive at night on a road without street light as Nigeria struggles with power outages in a commercial district of Lagos. Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

Why Nigeria’s electricity grid collapses and how to shore it up

Nigeria’s national electricity grid has collapsed more than 200 times since 2010, regularly resulting in widespread blackouts.
The U.S. has thousands of lakes and reservoirs that could be paired for pumped hydro storage without the need for rivers. Ollo via Getty Images

Batteries get hyped, but pumped hydro provides the vast majority of long-term energy storage essential for renewable power – here’s how it works

A team of researchers found 35,000 pairs of existing reservoirs, lakes and old mines in the US that could be turned into long-term energy storage – and they don’t need dams on rivers.
The Curiosity Mars rover, launched in November 2011, is powered by a nuclear battery that relies on thermoelectric materials to turn heat from radioactive decay into electricity. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

A new approach finds materials that can turn waste heat into electricity

More than two-thirds of the world’s energy is wasted as heat. Thermoelectric materials can convert unwanted heat into electricity, but finding the best ones has been slow.

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