Trump, GOP, bent on Killing the Future. This Will Not Stand.
April 18, 2017
How deep is Republican hatred for knowledge, truth, and progress?
This will not stand.
Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the Republican Party believe that fear, weapons, and money are power.
I disrespectfully disagree.
Knowledge, awareness, and love are power – and we are running a Master’s class in coming weeks. Tyrants take notes.
#March for Science
The Trump administration is aiming a half-billion-dollar cut at the main U.S. hub for renewable energy research — 25 percent of the agency’s budget, and that’s just for the final five months of this federal fiscal year.
Even deeper cuts are expected to be sought for 2018 — a possibility that has alarmed researchers in clean energy and even some Republicans in Congress.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE, is a $2 billion branch of the Department of Energy. It is credited with helping to drive the rapid expansion of rooftop solar panels, electric vehicle batteries, LED lighting and more.
The cuts have yet to be approved by Congress, but they remain a clear signal of administration priorities.
The Trump “skinny” budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year released earlier this month suggested that intended cuts to EERE could run in the order of $1 billion, according to estimates by some office staffers and knowledgeable observers.
Several staffers said cuts of that magnitude would damage U.S. research and technological competitiveness. They suggested much of the brunt of the cuts could fall on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at Golden, Colo., the country’s leading clean energy research facility.
“These are individuals we have in labs throughout the country, and when our funding gets cut, those are postdocs and graduate students and researchers that are gone,” said one EERE employee, who, like another in this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to speak on the record and feared possible retribution for doing so. “They’re doing the research. And they won’t have jobs. And we won’t be competitive.”
Virtually all of the lab’s federal funding comes from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy — $273 million out of its total federal budget of $292 million in 2016.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a new perovskite ink with a long processing window that allows the scalable production of perovskite thin films for high-efficiency solar cells.
Proven highly efficient at converting sunlight into electricity, perovskite solar cells have yet to move beyond the laboratory. The crystalline structure of perovskites must be carefully grown upon a substrate, which is normally done by laboratory-scale spin coating – a technology that can’t be scaled to large-scale manufacturing. The best devices fabricated using scalable deposition methods, which are suitable for future module production, still lag behind state-of-the-art spin-coated devices.
This research is supported by the DOE’s SunShot Initiative, a national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a proof-of-principle photoelectrochemical cell capable of capturing excess photon energy normally lost to generating heat.
Using quantum dots (QD) and a process called Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG), the NREL researchers were able to push the peak external quantum efficiency for hydrogen generation to 114 percent. The advancement could significantly boost the production of hydrogen from sunlight by using the cell to split water at a higher efficiency and lower cost than current photoelectrochemical approaches.
NREL researchers devised a cell based upon a lead sulfide (PbS) QD photoanode. The photoanode involves a layer of PbS quantum dots deposited on top of a titanium dioxide/fluorine-doped tin oxide dielectric stack. The chemical reaction driven by the extra electrons demonstrated a new direction in exploring high-efficiency approaches for solar fuels.
Scientists and science advocates are expected to fill the streets of more than 500 cities across the world on Saturday in support of scientific research, which they feel has increasingly come under attack, especially during the Trump administration.
Since its inception in late January, the March for Science has transformed from a grass-roots social media campaign into a bona fide force of scientific advocacy, attracting support from more than 220 official science organizations. But the marchers and the activists who organized them will soon have to address what follows the demonstrations. In addition to channeling the energy they’ve built, they will also need to contend with tensions that have emerged within the scientific community over this political turn.
“We have no intention of letting this stop after April 22,” said Dr. Caroline Weinberg, a public health researcher and co-chairwoman of the march. “I will have considered it pretty much a failure if after April 22 all of this movement and all of this passion dissipates.”