Signal to Noise Special Edition: Sustainable Energy

Articles in this Special Edition

Why We Need Sustainable Energy

Archana Dayalu

Electric Vehicles and Hybrids: Where are we now?

Paul Hess

Spinning electricity out of thin, moving air

Eileen Sun

Black Silicon: Working around the current limits of solar cells

Michael Cox

Synthetic Biology for Fuels

Gairik Sachdeva

Green Chemistry: Cutting pollution at its source

Katherine Phillips

Beyond the Debate: The role of government in renewable energy finance

Kai Graylee

Encouraging Sustainable Energy in the Developing World

Nicolas Westenenk

Words from the Editors

Be it the prevalence of hybrid cars on the road or solar panels on our roofs, sustainable energy is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives. These forms of energy help to avoid problems associated with burning coal or gasoline to generate energy: sustainable energy limits greenhouse gas production, produces fewer pollutants that are dangerous to human health, and is renewable. In these days of warmer winters, urban smog, and dwindling oil reserves, the shift from carbon-based energy sources to renewable sources seems essential.

The United Nations has recognized the importance of sustainable energy, and has declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. By 2030, this initiative aims to: (1) Ensure universal access to modern energy services; (2) Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and (3) Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

In honor of this UN year special edition of the SITN Flash aims to focus on sustainable energy – why we need it, what technological advances are taking place, and how it may be financed. It brings together Harvard graduate student writers who study physics, chemistry, biological sciences, engineering, and public administration in international development. We hope to provide both a detailed look at the science behind sustainable energy and insight into the policy behind making this energy available.

Thank you to all of the writers who contributed to this special edition, and to all of the editors who put in extra time to make it happen.

Jamie Schafer, Managing Editor, PhD Student in Virology at Harvard Medical School

Editorial Team: Tyler Ford, Johnny Kung, Emily Lehrman, Laura Strittmatter, Rosa Yoon, Rachel Yunck

Happy Reading!
Flash Editorial Staff

Official Website of the Year of Sustainable Energy for All:
The SE4ALL logo is reproduced with permission from the United Nations Foundation.