The world is on track to add 700 million new ACs by 2030, and 1.6 billion by 2050, largely in hot, developing countries like India and Indonesia ... Air conditioners use refrigerants, and some of the most common types — hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs — are powerful greenhouse gases, with thousands of times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. If HFC use continues to grow at its current pace, these chemicals could make up as much as 19 percent of emissions by 2050.

At a minimum, attackers who have control of a company's operational network could use it to ... turn on or off breakers inside the companies' infrastructure and hijack systems that monitor the health of the grid. That's an unsettling scenario, but there's a more troubling one still: the attackers might also be able to use their control of multiple grid-connected operational networks to create the kinds of failures that led to the Northeast Blackout of 2003.

Six decades after the construction of the first wave of nuclear power plants, no country has opened a permanent storage site. Spent nuclear fuel and other contaminated material — deadly byproducts of electricity generation — remain stockpiled in temporary locations around Europe and the world, sometimes alongside the reactors where they were used ...The problem is only getting more urgent as power plants across the world near the end of their lives

Why doesn’t California, a champion of renewable energy, use all the solar power it can generate? The answer, in part, is that the state has achieved dramatic success in increasing renewable energy production in recent years. But it also reflects sharp conflicts among major energy players in the state over the best way to weave these new electricity sources into a system still dominated by fossil-fuel-generated power.

While Norway wants to wean its own citizens off fossil fuels, it remains one of the world’s biggest oil producers and is revving up production, almost all of it for export. So even as the country tries to cut emissions and clean up its own carbon ledger at home, it is effectively doing the opposite abroad.

Emissions have been reduced by approximately 1% each year since 2006, when California enacted its landmark law setting a target for cutting pollution that causes climate change. But to reach a newer, more ambitious goal for 2030, cuts will need to happen at about three times that pace.

the plant has more than 10,300 billboard-size mirrors that focus the sun’s heat on the heat exchanger, melting the salt into millions of gallons of 1,050-degree liquid that is stored until electricity is needed. The salt, which can stay liquid at higher temperatures than some other fluids like water, then flows through a steam-generating system that drives a turbine, producing enough electricity for 75,000 homes for as long as 10 hours past sundown

A top-of-the-line E5 is the size of a postage stamp, retails for $4,115, and uses about 60 percent more energy per year than a large Whirlpool refrigerator. You use them whenever you search Google, hail an Uber, or let your kids stream Episode 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in your car. These feats of computer science are often attributed to the rise of the smartphone, but the hard work is being done on thousands of servers. And pretty much all of those servers run on Intel chips.

while the industry as a whole isn’t that large, job losses in the coal industry have an outsize effect, devastating coal towns (partly via multiplying effects). That’s because coal workers tend to be concentrated in small areas, around mines. Half of coal miners work in just 25 counties ... Those counties are in nine states: Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.

Nuclear garbage can be divided into three broad categories: low, intermediate, and high-level waste. The low- and intermediate-level is stuff like mop heads, irradiated clothing, machine parts, filters, or certain resins. High-level waste is spent nuclear fuel. Some waste loses its radioactivity fairly quickly (low-level waste is radioactive for three centuries), but the higher-level stuff won't be safe for hundreds of thousands of years.