Skip to Content
The Download

The Download: Storing renewable power with carbon dioxide, and Roe v Wade under threat

Plus: A new disinformation advisory board is already causing controversy

This is today's edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what's going on in the world of technology.

This company wants to use carbon dioxide to store renewable power on the grid

Sourcing power: Renewable power has been growing worldwide, but sources like wind and solar aren’t available consistently. In the quest to find a better way to store power for the grid, an Italian startup called Energy Dome is turning to an unlikely source: carbon dioxide. 

How it works: Energy Dome turned to carbon dioxide because of its physics. When squeezed to high enough pressures, it turns into a liquid, which can be stored in small steel tanks close to where renewable energy is generated and used. Energy Dome’s technology is designed to allow the carbon dioxide to be accessed as needed and turned into electricity. 

Greater flexibility: The company has already started trials and promises it will soon be able to safely and cheaply store energy using carbon dioxide sourced from commercial vendors. However, experts warn it may take longer than expected, due to the scale of the engineering challenges involved. Read the full story.

—Casey Crownhart

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 The Supreme Court is reportedly planning to overturn Roe v Wade
An actual decision won’t arrive for a couple of months, but it could be earth-shattering if the law that protects abortion rights gets repealed. (Politico)
+ Here’s what would happen if Roe v Wade was overturned. (WP $)
+ The decision is most likely to affect young women who are already mothers. (NYT $)
+ Restricting access to abortions tends to go hand in hand with declines in democracy. (NYT $)
+ Activists stepped in to help Texans access abortion pills last year. (TR)

2 A new disinformation advisory board is already being targeted with disinformation 
Republicans are unhappy, claiming its creation is a threat to free speech. (NYT $)
+ Ironically, the board could end up debunking untruths about itself. (Protocol)

3 Facebook is pulling out of podcasting
Just a year after announcing its grand audio ambitions. (Bloomberg $)
+ It’s planning on releasing four virtual headsets by 2024. (The Information $)

4 Open-source researchers are sharing gory images from the war in Ukraine
But there’s a limit to how helpful it is to disseminate such graphic pictures. (Rest of World)
+ Homesick Ukrainians are heading home to Kyiv. (FT $)
+ Ukraine has been braced for cyberwarfare since Russia first invaded in 2014. (Wired $)

5 Maybe Twitter’s not a town square after all 
But a hellish, elite-driven hierarchy. (New Yorker $)
+ Elon Musk doesn’t have a business plan, and is driven by pure self-belief. (NYT $)
+ Here’s why that makes him such a divisive figure. (WP $)

6 How Apple’s anti-tracking feature shook the mobile ad industry
But we’re still being tracked—just in slightly different ways. (Vox)
+ How Jony Ive’s departure from Apple signaled the end of its product golden age. (NYT $)

7 Crypto trading is a dangerous game for addicts
Its highly volatile nature goes hand in hand with addictive behavior, therapists say. (WP $)
+ Argentina’s crypto frenzy is crippling one of its energy grids. (Bloomberg $)

8 Grindr users’ location data was on sale for at least three years
The information could be used to infer romantic encounters between users. (WSJ $)

9 How Amiga computers birthed modern dance music
They removed the need for a studio. (The Guardian)

10 There is life after quitting social media
Just don’t expect anyone to remember your birthday. (WSJ $)
+ Here’s why you can’t stop adding lol to your messages. (The Atlantic $)

Quote of the day

“I was angry and then I was just hit with this overwhelming wave of sadness, and I didn’t know where else to go.”

—Lauren Guzowski, 20, tells the Washington Post why she’s protesting the potential overturning of Roe v Wade outside the Supreme Court

We can still have nice things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. (Got any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet 'em at me.)
+ Growing an edible garden sounds incredibly wholesome.
+ A burning question: why are American potato chips so dull?
+ This beautiful hat is just perfect for spring.
+ JustWatch is an incredibly useful app that tells you where to legally watch any show or movie (and it’s free.)
+ If you missed the Met Gala, this is a great summary of all the best looks of the night—shout out to Lizzo.
+ If you need to chill out, Portishead have performed live for the first time in eight years.
+ New York’s disco heyday looked like unbelievable fun.

Deep Dive

Climate change

China’s heat wave is creating havoc for electric vehicle drivers

The country is a leader in EV adoption, but extreme weather is exposing weaknesses in its charging infrastructure.

We must fundamentally rethink “net-zero” climate plans. Here are six ways.

Corporate climate plans are too often a mix of fuzzy math, flawed assumptions, and wishful thinking.

This is what’s keeping electric planes from taking off

Batteries could power planes, but weight will limit how far they fly.

The US agency in charge of developing fossil fuels has a new job: cleaning them up

The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management has a new name, new leaders, and a new mandate to meet Joe Biden’s climate goals.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.