Big Question on Climate Crisis: How to Inspire Innovation

HAMBURG, Germany — On the edge of this northern German port city, the industrial giant Siemens is testing a way to offset the erratic nature of renewable power, by storing energy in hot rocks.

Off the coast of Scotland, an oil company will soon install the first commercial wind turbines that float in deep water, a potential clean-energy breakthrough that could be adopted around the globe.

And in Texas, an American company is about to test a new type of power plant that may generate electricity while cheaply capturing the emissions, allowing the climate-altering pollution to be pumped safely underground.

Around the world, energy innovation seems to be speeding up. Large historical forces are converging to create unprecedented turmoil and opportunity in what had long been one of the most hidebound industries.

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