Tuesday, March 6, 2012
ORNL in the News

New Approach Aims to Slash Cost of Solar Cells

(Renewablesbiz.com) Current crystalline silicon technology, while high in energy conversion efficiency, involves processes that are complex, wasteful, and energy intensive....NREL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Ampulse have teamed on an approach to eliminate this waste and dramatically lower the cost of the finished solar panels. The aim is to create a less expensive alternative to wafer-based crystalline silicon solar cells...ORNL developed the metal foil that has the correct crystal structure to support that growth...3/5

Final FACE harvest reveals increased soil carbon storage under elevated carbon dioxide

(Science Codex) ...The Department of Energy-sponsored free-air carbon dioxide-enrichment, or FACE, experiment officially ended in 2009. The conclusion and final harvest of the ORNL FACE experiment provided researchers with the unique opportunity to cut down entire trees and to dig in the soil to quantify the effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations on plant and soil carbon...3/5

DOE

ARPA-E Issues Open Call for Transformational Energy Technologies

(Energy.gov)The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) issued a $150 million funding opportunity open to all transformational energy technologies to support the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to solving our nation’s most pressing energy challenges...3/2

Chu & the Hubs

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Energy Secretary Steven Chu will host a March 6 discussion and "live cast" with the directors of the DOE-sponsored Energy Innovation Hubs -- including Doug Kothe, director of the ORNL-based Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors. It begins at 2:15 p.m...3/5

National

Obama Presses Netanyahu to Resist Strikes on Iran

(NY Times) With Israel warning of a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, President Obama urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday to give diplomacy and economic sanctions a chance to work before resorting to military action...3/5

East Tennessee

Bearden wins Tennessee Science Bowl

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Bearden High School of Knoxville won the 2012 Tennessee Science Bowl, outsmarting dozens of teams from across the state, and will compete next month at the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C...3/5

energy & science policy

Alexander lauds new reactors, working on waste

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Sen. Lamar Alexander characterizes the federal government's decision to grant a license for two new atomic energy reactors "not a renaissance, but a reawakening."It's still welcome news to Alexander and others who extol the benefits of nuclear energy...3/5

science & technology

Emissions from Asia put US cities over the ozone limit

(Nature) As plumes of pollution rise over the booming industrial towns of Asia, satellite data could help to alert people in other regions to the approach of drifting smog...3/5

Crumpled Electronics Keep Working

(Discovery News) Engineers are developing electronics can be bent, folded, stretched and even adhere like a second skin. It was only a matter of time before someone took a look at crumpling them too...3/5

Solar power: the fix for Africa's frustration with the grid?

(CS Monitor) As solar power becomes more affordable and efficient, it could spread in Africa, much in the way cell phones took over without widespread infrastructure...3/5

The Inequality of America's Tech Centers

(The Atlantic) Inequality is shaping up to be one of the biggest issues in the 2012 presidential election. The Occupy movement may have waned since last fall, but its focus on the privileges of the top one percent has yet to go away...3/5

Other Stories

A silver lining in the bad news about newspapers

(Fortune) A Pew Research study finds that newspapers are struggling to resist the "inertia" that is keeping them from transitioning to the online world. The key to success? Culture...3/5