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Articles on Power grid

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Mating laser-driven atomic clocks like the one shown here with microwaves promises more accurate electronic devices. N. Phillips/NIST

Pairing lasers with microwaves makes mind-bogglingly accurate electronic clocks – a potential boon for GPS, cell phones and radar

Researchers have made some of the most accurate clocks imaginable in recent years, but the trick is harnessing those clocks to electronics. Using lasers to tune microwaves bridges the gap.
By centrally controlling when household water heaters (geysers) can be switched on and off, South Africa can ease up electricity demand during peak consumption times. Shutterstock

Smart water heating could help in South Africa’s energy crisis

Centrally switching water heaters on and off at specific times can distribute the demand for electricity and lead to energy saving.
An all-renewable grid will mean more electricity and more transmission lines. Russ Allison Loar/flickr

How to have an all-renewable electric grid

We have all the technologies needed to make the electric grid run on renewables and lower pollution. What are they and what are the barriers to adopting them widely?
Expanding solar power potential more than it’s needed could replace more expensive energy storage. Jamey Stillings

A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid: Build way more solar and wind than needed

Solar and wind can't deliver power on demand. But overbuilding solar and wind, and simply dumping unneeded energy, would go a long way to smoothing out those bumps, study finds.
A cleaner future with autonomous vehicles is not a sure thing. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Spread of self-driving cars could cause more pollution – unless the electric grid transforms radically

The spread of ride-hailing services and autonomous vehicles will lead to higher energy demand, a study finds. Electric vehicles and a much cleaner grid are the only way to avoid more emissions.
Would these power lines have weathered the storm if they were underground? Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

Why doesn’t the U.S. bury its power lines?

Hurricanes Michael and Florence have knocked power out for millions of people. Burying power lines could help but the costs are high.
The latest research suggests that in Australia, rooftop solar photovoltaics are more likely to be adopted by middle-class households.

Are solar panels a middle-class purchase? This survey says yes

Households that are most likely to go solar are those that can afford solar panels, but aren't so rich that they don't have to worry about their electricity bill at all, says a survey of 8,000 homes.

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