Christina Nunez is a Washington, D.C.-based producer of energy content at National Geographic. Previously, she has been a producer, editor and writer at websites including AOL.com and NPR.org.

Forty-four years ago today, Denis Hayes convened the very first Earth Day, an event that drew millions to events across the United States and heralded a new global awareness of the need to preserve our natural resources. Hayes is now at the vanguard of an effort to rethink our buildings and, by extension, our growing…

Before the special ventilation system is installed, the solar water heaters added, and the insulated windows are fitted at a new set of super-efficient homes in Washington, D.C., the foundation must be laid and the wooden bones erected. Last month, several of us from National Geographic arrived to help do part of that work as…

With the acquisition of thermostat-maker Nest Labs for $3.2 billion announced Monday, Google might finally be arriving at the right moment in a quest for home energy data that began about five years ago with the now-retired PowerMeter. Nest might be one of the few home energy start-ups that you recognize by name. Founded by…

The location of a wind farm can play a key role in the potential for wind energy to add or detract from stability on the electric grid, according to researchers at North Carolina State University and Johns Hopkins University. The paper, released this month,  notes that some wind farms, because of their location and the…

Waiting for a package? The holiday shipping countdown has begun: Online retailers are issuing regular reminders of how many days are left to order for delivery by Christmas, while shippers such as UPS and FedEx are scrambling to distribute record volumes of parcels from all of that e-commerce. Dubbing this “Peak Week,” UPS said it…

Two years ago, the band Linkin Park kicked off an initiative called Power the World with the goal of bringing clean energy to one million people. It started in partnership with the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All program, which aims to achieve universal energy access by 2030. (See related post: “Linkin Park’s Bid to…

Sometimes our dependency on battery-charging devices seems ironic, considering the abundance of energy around us that is being generated every day by sources as mundane as the human hand, footsteps, and lightning, which strikes the Earth dozens of times per second. (See related photos: “Immense, Elusive Energy in the Forces of Nature.”) A typical lightning…

Many of us stash a flashlight for emergencies, only to find that when the time comes to use it, the batteries have run out. The problem of how to achieve efficient, lightweight energy storage plagues everything from flashlights to electric cars. But what if you could bypass it altogether? That’s what Ann Makosinski of Canada…

The Arctic’s melt season has concluded, and this year the sea ice rebounded from its historic low last year, according to a release Friday from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Sea ice extent fell to its lowest level of 2013 on September 13, reaching  1.97 million square miles (5.10 million square kilometers).…

As half of Venezuela, including much of the capital Caracas, plunged into darkness during electrical outages Tuesday, the country’s president used Twitter to go on the offensive. Saying that his government had stabilized the electrical system while directing blame for the outage at political opponents, President Nicolas Maduro posted on Twitter, “It’s evident that behind…

Q Are biofuels worth the investment? Vote in the poll below. Biofuels are at a crossroads. According to the International Energy Agency, global biofuels production has grown more than sixfold over the last decade, yet biofuels still account for just 3 percent of all road fuel energy. While it may seem preferable, in theory, to…

A low, spaceship-like vessel will wind its way up the U.S. Atlantic coast from New York to Boston and onward this week, part of a solar-powered journey along the Gulf Stream that will end in Bergen, Norway. The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, with its prominent span of photovoltaic panels, obviously aims to be a bellwether for…

From swapping in smarter lighting to installing solar panels, many homeowners are seeking energy efficiency boosts that can cut bills and lower their carbon footprint. But just how green can a home get? Julie Torres Moskovitz offers an answer in The Greenest Home, a just-released visual and practical guide to some remarkable passive houses around…

On a recent late night at the office, I got a warning from the cleaning woman: “You know the lights all shut off at 10 o’clock, right?” Fortunately, I had never stayed at National Geographic late enough to learn that fact. But I had noticed before that at 8:00 p.m., my computer sends a message…

In his first official remarks as Energy Secretary Tuesday, Ernest Moniz focused on an aspect of energy policy that lends itself to consensus perhaps a bit more easily than others:  the need for greater efficiency. Speaking at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Washington, Moniz noted it was fortuitous that the annual event followed his…

Smart meters are just one aspect of the new electric infrastructure generally known as the smart grid, but for consumers, they are the most visible. Utilities in California, Texas and other states have led the way on installing the meters, which can relay information about a household’s energy use back to the grid. A new…

  Green roofs have been touted as a means of saving energy, improving water management and expanding natural space within urban environments. Can they also help save native plants? National Geographic grantee Clark DeLong is working to answer that question, particularly with regard to species in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. The botanist, who is based…

Gasoline prices for U.S. drivers will be about six cents lower on average this summer compared to last year, according to a new forecast. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline will be $3.63, compared to $3.69 last year. That’s only a slight bump up…

Teams of students from around the world, who labored for several weeks to build super-fuel-efficient cars, sent those cars into the final test at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Houston this past weekend. The top winner for traditional fuels: Université Laval of Québec City, which achieved a best run of 3,587 miles per gallon (1,524…

When a golden eagle was killed at the 66-turbine Spring Valley Wind Farm near Ely, Nevada, in February, wind farm operator Pattern Energy reportedly was prompt in notifying authorities of the death and already had mitigation measures in place to protect birds and bats. Regardless, Pattern now faces a $200,000 fine over the incident because…

Speaking at Argonne National Laboratory Friday, President Barack Obama emphasized the need for research on alternative energy technologies and called for an energy security trust to fund such research, pulling $2 billion in royalties from oil and gas leases over 10 years. Taking aim at the recent sequester-driven budget cuts and partisan budget battles in…

President Obama’s decision to nominate Ernest Moniz as U.S. Secretary of Energy potentially places an advocate of nuclear energy and shale gas at the head of the department during a time of intense debate over the future of both. The U.S. is grappling with how to regulate, and whether to export, its booming natural gas…

Crude oil production in the United States surpassed 7 million barrels per day (bpd) in November last year, the first time since December 1992 that output reached that level. According to numbers released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration today, the U.S. produced 7.013 million bpd in November and 7.030 million bpd in December. Driven…

Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered a sort of parting gift to Energy Secretary Steven Chu Tuesday, as the pair were about to conclude a session at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit near Washington, D.C. Asking for a for a bit more time to make an announcement, Musk first said he thought the Department of Energy’s…

Has fracking changed our energy future for the better, or for the worse? Read viewpoints on both sides and vote in the poll below. The use of hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas from the earth dates back to the 1940s, but only in the past few years has “fracking” become an energy buzzword,…