Green, Texas: Texans like to think of themselves as the best. Over the past decade, environmentalists have rated the state No. 1, but not in a good way: number one for per capita energy consumption, major environmental complaints and emission of air pollution and greenhouse gases. What if the state could add a new ranking: No. 1 in green energy. Sound far fetched? It's not, according to Michael Webber, an energy specialist at The University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering and Jackson School of Geosciences, where he is associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy.
Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have achieved a breakthrough in the use of a one-atom thick structure called "graphene" as a new carbon-based material for storing electrical charge in ultracapacitor devices, perhaps paving the way for the massive installation of renewable energies such as wind and solar power.
As Texas' electric grid operator prepares to add power lines for carrying future wind-generated energy, an electrical engineer at The University of Texas at Austin is developing improved methods for determining the extent to which power from a wind farm can displace a conventional power plant, and how best to regulate varying wind power.