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About Energy Technology Distillates

With this website and its affiliated documents, Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment introduces a series of publications called Energy Technology Distillates. Designed to provide succinct yet substantive information to policymakers, educators, students, and other citizens, these publications cover emerging topics in energy and the environment that combine technological, economic, and policy considerations.

wind power

Wind power may become a mainstay of the future global energy system. It accounted for about five percent of global electricity production in 2017 (compared to about two percent for solar power). Wind power is remote from most people’s everyday lives, because it is produced mostly where few people live. The goal of this distillate is to bring wind power closer.

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sunlight to electricity: navigating the field

Solar power plant capacity increased fifty-fold between 2006 and 2016. Looking ahead, it is possible that solar power will become a primary contributor to the world’s electric power system by mid-century but there is still a long way to go. This Energy Technology Distillate examines the technological, economic, and political forces that will shape the future of solar power.

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Nuclear fusion has enormous promise as a global energy source. The fuel is nearly inexhaustible and the waste products have less environmental impact than the wastes associated with fossil fuels and nuclear fission. Making affordable fusion energy would be a remarkable human achievement. To appreciate some of the key challenges, we examine magnetic confinement fusion energy from four perspectives: Technology, Economics, Fusion and Fission, and Politics and Progress.

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Small Modular Reactors

The future of nuclear power over the next few decades is murky. The contribution of nuclear power to the global electricity supply has declined globally in recent decades. The U.S. and other industrialized countries face the retirement of current nuclear power plants and must decide whether to replace them. In China and other industrializing countries, the central question is how much nuclear power will be built. This Energy Technology Distillate examines the possible role of small modular reactors in the future of nuclear power.

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Grid-Scale Electricity Storage

The future of renewable energy, primarily wind and solar, is intertwined with the development and deployment of energy storage technologies. This Energy Technology Distillate describes the fundamentals of energy storage, including leading technologies and their challenges, key costs, and important regulatory initiatives that are acting to drive commercial deployment.

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