AUSTIN, Texas — Homes with solar panels do not require on-site storage to reap the biggest economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, according to research from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. In fact, storing solar energy for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and emissions compared with sending excess solar energy directly to the utility grid. (more…)
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AUSTIN, Texas — It’s theoretically possible to produce about 500 times as much energy from algae fuels as is needed to grow the fuels, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
However, limited by existing technology, the researchers found in a separate study that their algae growing facility is getting out about one-five hundredth as much energy as it currently puts in to grow the fuels.
“The search for cost-effective biofuels is one of the noble endeavors of our time, and these papers shed insight on where the boundaries are in algae research,” said Robert Hebner, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering and director of the Center for Electromechanics. “One of the responsibilities of a top research university is to discover and explain what the boundaries are so we can innovate within those boundaries or create ways to expand them.” (more…)