Two of the major trends I’ve anticipated and have been tracking keep getting worse for the global economy.
It is going from bad to worse at a pace where you can feel the change every day now. Oil has rapidly risen to a price level where it is changing trading strategies on Wall Street, and China has sunk to a level that it’s making businesses question whether to do business in China at all. Read More
The planned expansion of the BRICS bloc, through the addition of new members Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Ethiopia and Argentina, will transform the grouping into a global leader in renewable energy in the coming decades, Rystad Energy research shows. The six new members will join the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in January 2024. As the transition to cleaner technology accelerates, the alliance is projected to derive over 80% of its power from renewable sources by 2050, with total capacity reaching 11 terawatts (TW), more than double the combined 4.5 TW expected in the Group of Seven (G7) nations Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. Read More
With Diesel prices already soaring (in anticipation of the highly vaunted soft landing), recently sending the diesel crack to 2023 highs and assuring that refiners have another blowout quarter, Russia just handed a gift to the Exxons of the world - and spat in the face of Christine Lagarde - when it "temporarily banned" exports of the diesel in a bid to stabilize domestic supplies, adding pressure on already tight global fuel markets. Read More
The Renewable Juggernaut
Over the past decade, the global growth rate of renewable energy trounced every other energy source. During that period, modern renewables (excluding hydropower and geothermal) grew exponentially, at an average annual rate of 12.6%. Renewables were the only energy category that grew globally at double digits over the past decade.
For perspective, in 2010 the world consumed 10.6 exajoules of renewable energy. In 2022, that reached 45.2 exajoules. The 5.2 exajoule increase in renewable consumption in 2022 was a record increase for one year, and it set a new all-time high for renewable energy consumption in a year. Read More
09.19.23- Fueling up Inflation
Higher energy costs are raising concerns of a negative impact on the broader economy at a time when the Federal Reserve is aiming to curb inflation….
Energy prices, specifically gasoline, were the biggest culprit of August's hotter-than-expected Consumer Price Index print released last week. Read More
Researchers have used a low-emissions method to harvest hydrogen and graphene from waste plastics. They say it not only solves environmental problems like plastic pollution and greenhouse gas production, but the value of the graphene by-product could offset the costs of producing hydrogen.
Hydrogen is used to power vehicles, generate electricity, and heat our homes and businesses. Hydrogen contains more energy per unit of weight than fossil fuels, which is important from an environmental standpoint as the main cause of global greenhouse gas emissions is the release of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. Read More
09.16.23- An Apparently Unstoppable Oil Price Rally
There appears to be no end in sight for the current oil price rally or for the bullish catalysts driving it as tightening supply combines with the apparent return of Chinese demand growth. Read More
China’s solar sector is set to break records in the coming years . When installed capacity crosses the 500 gigawatts (GW) mark by the end of 2023, it will have taken 13 years to reach that milestone. That total, however, will be doubled to 1 terawatt (TW) in just three additional years. Rystad Energy modeling shows total installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in China will cross the 1,000 GW mark by the end of 2026. Read More
We haven't seen a floating offshore wind turbine like this before. Touchwind claims its innovative single-blade turbines will solve several problems to drive down cost and downtime, using a single, huge blade with no fancy active pitch controls.
Most of the world's best wind resources are way offshore, in ocean far too deep to exploit with typical fixed-tower turbines. The deep sea could thus make a huge clean power contribution, while creating far less trouble wildlife than onshore wind farms. Read More
An ancient supervolcano along the Nevada-Oregon border contains what could be the world's largest single deposit of lithium. The findings could reshape the West's supply of the critical metal -- and might even change the geopolitical game with China. Read More
Oil prices had been coiling for a few days ahead of this data and are breaking out now after OPEC reports that global oil markets face a supply shortfall of more than 3 million barrels a day next quarter - potentially the biggest deficit in more than a decade.
If realized, it could be the biggest inventory drawdown since at least 2007, according to a Bloomberg analysis of figures published by OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat. Read More
Africa is a treasure trove of metals and minerals and home to some of the world's best natural resources, including wind and solar.
Africa currently accounts for a measly 4% of global carbon dioxide emissions. A variety of organizations want it to stay that way. Read More
09.09.23- China Races Ahead In Global Nuclear Power Development
China is by far the world leader in nuclear reactor development at present. The country has been rapidly expanding its nuclear energy industry in line with its renewable energy development, to diversity and become a leader in several clean energy sources. In contrast, the development of new plants in the U.S. has gradually dwindled in recent decades, following public and government scepticism around nuclear safety and the high costs involved with new projects. So, will China achieve its aim of becoming the world leader in nuclear power in the long term? Read More
With the global transition to clean energy in full swing, traditional renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have, unsurprisingly, been hogging the limelight. Unfortunately, one powerful renewable energy source has been conspicuously missing in the conversation: Geothermal energy.
Despite its many obvious benefits, geothermal energy--which taps the heat within the earth’s crust--is criminally underutilized in the United States. In 2019, the U.S. generated ~18,300 GWh from geothermal sources. While that appears impressive at first glance, that figure works out to just 0.4% of U.S. power generation. Read More
Massive federal subsidies for wind and solar energy are prompting conservative state governments to reconsider their opinions on low-carbon generation capacity or, indeed, consider having some.
With several hundred billion available in the form of subsidies for solar and wind farms, EV manufacturing, and batteries, among others, the Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress last year has prompted a race among states for a piece of the subsidy pie. Read More
It seems that China’s hunger for lithium remains unsatiated. Indeed, a new S&P Global report highlighted the “red dragon’s” efforts to gobble up critical minerals, including lithium battery elements, from mines across the globe.
The report explained how China’s reach continues to grow in terms of minerals, particularly those critical to products that have major implications for the future. Faced with more restrictive foreign investment policies in the developed markets, Chinese firms are turning their attention to mining. This includes buying up key minerals like lithium and cobalt in locations such as Africa. S&P Global believes China will continue to build its influence over these minerals and the industries that rely on them as it works with governments keen on foreign investments across the developing world. Read More
China's extremely rapid adoption of EVs has forced oil giant Sinopec to adjust its forecasts, saying peak domestic gasoline demand has already passed and it's all downhill from here. The repercussions will be global; China has been the biggest growth market for refined oil products for more than 20 years.
According to CNEV Post, Chinese new car buyers are now choosing "new energy vehicles" (NEVs, meaning battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars) at a rate of 37.8%, a percentage which has rocketed up from 30.0% in 2022, 15.5% in 2021 and just 5.4% in 2020. Read More
The renewable revolution is causing a modern-day gold rush. Countries around the world are solidifying plans to implement mass-scale development of solar and wind farms and to electrify vehicle fleets. While this is great news for global greenhouse gas emissions, these renewable technologies still rely on the extraction of finite metals and minerals such as lithium, copper, and cobalt. So while the renewable revolution is associated with a downturn in fossil fuel extraction, it will fuel a major mining boom. Read More
09.02.23- New Data Proves Nuclear Energy Is Safer Than You Think
There is now a concerted effort to change the global public perception of nuclear power, as governments worldwide look to rapidly expand their clean energy sources to achieve a green transition. Nuclear power has come on a long journey, from widely popular to demonised and back again. But many people remain uncertain about how safe nuclear plants actually are, causing widescale distrust and opposition to the clean energy source. Now, governments and international organisations are once again viewing nuclear power as key to a green future, but will they achieve the popular backing of the public in this assessment? Read More
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne researchers have found a way to significantly improve the operational stability of perovskite solar cells at high temperatures, which is necessary for their use in terawatt power grids.
Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have gained attention for their high power-conversion efficiencies and low-cost solution processing. However, ensuring their stability at high temperatures has been a challenge, as the points of contact between their different layers (“interfaces”) are susceptible to degradation, leading to energy loss and decreased performance. Read More
The oceans director of Greenpeace told USA Today that groups attempting to link offshore wind to whale deaths are part of a “cynical disinformation campaign.”
The U.S. government has announced a proposed $7 billion (for starters) on desperately needed breakthroughs in clean hydrogen production.
The Department of Energy’s (DoE) biggest bet is on nuclear power plants, which they are hoping to convert into North America’s premier clean hydrogen producers. Read More
Bill Gates-backed startup Antora Energy is preparing to roll out a containerized, modular heat battery, designed to store renewable energy at the lowest possible cost – then release it efficiently as electricity or industrial process heat.
It's all in the name of decarbonizing heavy industry – a job that simply needs to be done, and a tricky one given the intermittent nature of renewable energy. It's easy for factories to run 24/7 when there's fossil fuel available to create heat as required, but what about when the Sun's not shining? Read More
BRICS member India has reportedly purchased oil from the United Arab Emirates using its national currency for the first time ever.
The EV industry faces a huge challenge of replacing, in record speed, internal combustion engines (ICE) that have ruled the roads for over a century—and domesticating the entire supply chain to meet the demands of an electric vehicle industry quickly closing in on a trillion-dollar market value.
So far, it’s all been done backwards, which is how many revolutionary ideas unfold … Read More
The volume of natural gas flowing to LNG giant Cheniere Energy's (NYSE:LNG) Corpus Christi export plant in Texas was on track to decline nearly 30% on Wednesday, a day after Tropical Storm Harold hit South Texas. According to Refinitiv data, gas volumes flowing to Corpus were on track to drop to about 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Wednesday from 2.1 bcfd previously. At full capacity, the three liquefaction trains at the Corpus Christi LNG export plant are capable of chilling 2.4 bcfd of natural gas into LNG, enough to supply 12 million U.S. homes Read More
Illinois Institute of Technology research revealed a promising breakthrough in green energy.Their design is an electrolyzer device capable of converting carbon dioxide into propane in a manner that is both scalable and economically viable.
As the United States races toward its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, innovative methods to reduce the significant carbon dioxide emissions from electric power and industrial sectors are critical. Read More
08.23.23- Southeast Asia's $76 Billion
Southeast Asian national oil companies (NOCs) and traditional upstream players are progressively focusing on cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy initiatives. Rystad Energy's analysis reveals a consistent commitment to these initiatives in the years to come, with investments set to exceed $76 billion from 2023 to 2025. The upward trend is set to continue, with a projected total outlay of $119 billion by the end of 2027. This expenditure will be driven by investments in wind, solar and geothermal projects. Read More
This week, Johannesburg will play host to the 15th BRICS summit, a pivotal gathering of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Read More
Methane has a greenhouse effect 80 times worse than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, and emissions are skyrocketing even as we start reducing CO2. That makes UCF's new hydrocarbon-capturing, sunlight-powered catalyst a very compelling idea.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida's Nanoscience Technology Center and Florida Space Institute say they've come up with a boron-rich photocatalyst, engineered with nanoscale defects, or structural irregularities, that allow it to split hydrocarbon chains like methane into harmless components. Read More
The world is awash in waste plastic. Wind blows it across everyone’s property. Its value is so low that no good program exists to drive the recycling effort past 10%.
Although many Americans dutifully deposit their plastic trash into the appropriate bins each week, many of those materials, including flexible films, multilayer materials and a lot of colored plastics, are not recyclable using conventional mechanical recycling methods. Read More
UK company RheEnergise is quietly rolling out an interesting new approach to pumped hydro energy storage, aiming for a capacity of at least 100 MW by 2030. It works with small hills instead of mountains, making it relevant in many more areas.
It's one of the simplest and lowest-tech ways to store energy and then recover it on demand: use cheap energy during the day to pump a bunch of water up a big hill into a tank, then release it slowly at night, letting gravity do its work and running a turbine to generate energy as and when you need it. Read More
In another blow to dollar dominance, India and the United Arab Emirates settled an oil trade without converting local currencies to dollars for the first time on Monday, as India’s top refiner made a payment for oil in rupees.
Indian Oil Corp. bought a million barrels of oil from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in a dollar-free transaction. Read More
08.16.23- New Mexico Looks To Become A Renewable Powerhouse
New Mexico is naturally endowed with several clean energy sources including wind and solar, as well as geothermal resources, which makes it highly attractive for renewable energy projects. The state ranks second in the U.S. for potential solar energy production and tenth in wind energy potential. The government of New Mexico hopes to advance the region’s role in clean energy and expects renewable energy leasing to be significant in the coming years. Read More
It has now become more fashionable to talk about shortages. Computer chips have been in shortage and then in glut in the last few years. Natural gas was acutely in shortage in Europe after the war in Ukraine and pipeline sabotage brought supplies from Russia down to a trickle. Then, heroic efforts at conservation and in obtaining liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments to Europe led to a dramatic reduction in price. But last week just the potential for labor strikes among LNG workers in Australia, a major LNG exporter, sent the European price spiking again.
The world seemed so well supplied with everything in the previous decade that the shortages of this decade seem shocking to those with memories that do not extend further back than 2010. Read More
Morocco is trying to turn around its energy legacy, from an energy mix heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels, to becoming a net exporter of clean energy. Morocco’s sunny climate, coastline, and wide open spaces lend themselves to massive scale solar and wind farms, and its proximity to Europe puts the country in a prime position to be a key source of energy for the European Union. While the potential is enormous, so too are the challenges facing the North African nation. Read More
Extreme heat is costing the United States economy billions of dollars each year. As weather patterns change around the world, heat waves are getting more frequent, more intense, and longer in duration. But many of the buildings and factories that the U.S. workforce spends its days in were not built with extreme heat in mind, and many lack air conditioning entirely, especially in the industrial sector. The result is a massive dip in productivity that is costing the United States billions of dollars on a yearly basis, and that price tage is only going to keep growing. Read More
08.11.23- The Looming Oil Crisis
It has recently become clear to me that heavy oil, which is needed to produce diesel and jet fuel, plays a far more significant role in the world economy than most people understand. We need heavy oil that can be extracted, processed, and transported inexpensively to be able to provide the category of fuels sometimes referred to as Middle Distillates if our modern economy is to continue. A transition to electricity doesn’t work for most heavy equipment that is powered by diesel or jet fuel. Read More
A daunting list of key industries the world over is now wondering where their future supplies of helium will come from.
A huge experiment to produce electricity using enhanced geothermal energy is taking place underground in Utah. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is funding an experimental pilot project drilling well over a mile deep into the Earth’s crust to access a continuous heat source for clean energy production. While the technology is in its infancy and there are questions about whether enhanced geothermal could ever be cost-competitive with other forms of clean energy production, the DOE is convinced that it’s a good enough idea to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on. Read More
08.08.23- Another New Nuclear Reactor Energizes U.S. Clean Energy Hopes
Following the energy shortages of 2022, the U.S. has been racing to reinvigorate its nuclear energy sector. Long neglected, nuclear power appears to be making a comeback in the U.S., having gained funding and political support from the Biden administration, and being seen as an obvious option to help accelerate a green transition. In recent years, the U.S. has been trying to simply keep its existing nuclear reactors ticking over but, for the first time in 7 years, a new reactor is up and running, spurring greater optimism for the future of U.S. nuclear energy. Read More
It has recently become clear to me that heavy oil, which is needed to produce diesel and jet fuel, plays a far more significant role in the world economy than most people understand. We need heavy oil that can be extracted, processed, and transported inexpensively to be able to provide the category of fuels sometimes referred to as Middle Distillates if our modern economy is to continue. A transition to electricity doesn’t work for most heavy equipment that is powered by diesel or jet fuel. Read More
Japanese plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) studied a black rockfish in May and found that it contained levels of radioactive cesium that were 180 times over Japan’s regulatory limit.
The radioactive fish was caught near drainage outlets at the TEPCO plant, where three nuclear reactors melted down amidst a tsunami in March 2011. Rainwater from areas near the reactors flows into the area where the fish was caught. Read More
It's no longer taboo to publicly talk about depopulation. Even many who once dismissed the concept as a conspiracy theory are now publicly acknowledging the reality that global efforts are under way to drastically reduce the human population on planet Earth.
Mainstream media now frequently talks about "climate lockdowns" as a good thing -- to cease human activity on planet Earth in order to "save the planet" from so-called climate change, a wholesale fabrication and fake science fraud rooted in the lie that carbon dioxide is somehow bad for life on the planet. (Without it, there would be no photosynthesis, no plants, no animals and no humans.) Read More
08.03.23- Green Hydrogen's Potential In Propelling Eco-friendly Aviation
With the aviation industry contributing around 2 percent of global carbon emissions, the sector must find a way to go greener. While many industries are beginning to decarbonise operations, some are finding it extremely difficult to find the right path to cleaner operations. The aviation sector has long relied on fossil fuels to power planes, with little alternative available. As demand for commercial flights is expected to continue increasing, one industry that the aviation sector is hopeful for is hydrogen, with the potential to one day power aircraft with green hydrogen-based fuels. Read More
The current heat wave is being relentlessly blamed on increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but there is a much more plausible explanation, one that is virtually endorsed by two of the world's leading scientific organizations. It turns out that levels of water vapor in the atmosphere have dramatically increased over the last year and a half, and water vapor is well recognized as a greenhouse gas, whose heightened presence leads to higher temperatures, a mechanism that dwarfs any effect CO2 may have. Read More
Cement and water, with a small amount of carbon black mixed in, self-assembles into fractal branches of conductive electrodes, turning concrete into an energy-storing supercapacitor
MIT researchers have discovered that when you mix cement and carbon black with water, the resulting concrete self-assembles into an energy-storing supercapacitor that can put out enough juice to power a home or fast-charge electric cars. Read More
Rice University engineers have created a device that “turns sunlight into hydrogen” with record-breaking efficiency. The device integrates next-generation halide perovskite semiconductors with electrocatalysts in a single, durable, cost-effective and scalable device. The press release believes the engineers have set a new standard for hydrogen technology. The device is factually a solar driven water splitting cell.
According to a study published in Nature Communications, the device achieved a 20.8% solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency. Today the study is not behind a paywall. Read More
By decoding a genetic process responsible for asexual reproduction, researchers induced virgin births for the first time in a normally sexual fruit fly species. It was then discovered that the remarkable trait was passed down to all of the flies' daughters. The finding could help scientists find new ways to protect crops from insect pests that are increasingly able to reproduce without mates. Read More
The renewable revolution is causing a modern-day gold rush. Countries around the world are solidifying plans to implement mass-scale development of solar and wind farms and to electrify vehicle fleets. While this is great news for global greenhouse gas emissions, these renewable technologies still rely on the extraction of finite metals and minerals such as lithium, copper, and cobalt. So while the renewable revolution is associated with a downturn in fossil fuel extraction, it will fuel a major mining boom. Read More
RMIT engineers say they've tripled the energy density of cheap, rechargeable, recyclable proton flow batteries, which can now challenge commercially available lithium-ion batteries for capacity with a specific energy density of 245 Wh/kg.
That's as compared to the ~260-odd Wh/kg delivered by the lithium-ion batteries in a current Tesla Model 3 battery pack, but without using any lithium, thus avoiding a forecasted lithium squeeze, as well as geopolitically sensitive dependence on China in the battery supply chain, and all kinds of end-of-life issues. Read More
Electric vehicles are known to perform sub-optimally in cold weather -- if that's a loss of range and power. A new study has found similar adverse effects when EVs are subjected to scorching temperatures.
Auto blog Carscoops first reported that data science company Recurrent tested several EVs to "analyze the relationship between batteries and their range." Recurrent's data found that if temperatures rise over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then the ranges of EVs diminish. Read More
07.25.23- Arkansas Could Lead America’s Lithium Production Boom
Southwestern Arkansas could be the lithium production hotspot of America the way the Permian is now for oil, as mining companies and oil and gas supermajors are looking to tap more of the domestic U.S. lithium resources to reduce dependence on China.
Mining firms Standard Lithium and Tetra Technologies, as well as supermajor ExxonMobil, are looking to build lithium extraction capacities in Arkansas and source one of the most important metals for the energy transition via a process called direct lithium extraction (DLE). Read More
Fervo's "next-generation geothermal" technology has proven itself in testing, becoming the most productive enhanced geothermal plant in history. The company hopes its approach will radically expand access to clean energy, like shale did for oil.
There's a near-unlimited amount of clean energy under our feet, in the form of hot rocks. You can generate clean electricity 24/7 – not intermittently, like solar and wind – if you can get water down into that rock and back to the surface to drive steam turbines. A reliable source like this would make the clean energy transition much smoother. Read More
Africa is home to 60% of the world’s highest quality solar resources, but has only 1% of the world’s installed solar power production capacity. An under-developed industrial sector has deterred solar power developers from taking advantage of the continent’s massive solar power potential, but in a world with rising energy demand and ever more urgent calls for decarbonization, the renewable energy industry can no longer afford to ignore Africa – and Africa itself can no longer afford to be ignored. Read More
The renewable revolution is facing a major land use issue that threatens to seriously impede the growth trajectory of the clean energy sector. Mass-scale renewable energy infrastructure like wind and solar farms take up much more land area than traditional fossil fuel production plants, and the sector is increasingly competing for land with other major industries including agriculture. Going forward, the renewables sector will have to get creative about using land more efficiently and in a more collaborative manner with other major land users. Read More
07.20.23- Navigating The Hurdles Of Green Hydrogen Production
There is great optimism around the future of green hydrogen, with many seeing it as a super-fuel that will replace oil-derived options, as well as be highly competitive with electric battery technology. However, we are far from achieving this ambition yet, mainly due to small-scale production operations and high costs. Many companies around the globe have plans to produce green hydrogen, but some are battling challenges that are slowing down the rollout of the clean fuel. Despite improvements in production processes, thanks to greater investment in the sector in recent years, the production and transportation costs of green hydrogen remain much higher than other fuels, including other types of hydrogen. Read More
The future of the global energy sector is in the hands of Artificial Intelligence. AI is proving to be an increasingly essential component of decarbonization pathways and solving the energy trilemma: the tricky problem of producing energy that is A) sufficient for global development, B) affordable and accessible for all, and C) environmentally sustainable.
Solving the trilemma and meeting climate goals will necessarily involve systems transformation at an unprecedented scale, which will depend on an intelligent, responsive, and flexible computing system able to recognize and predict complex patterns of production and consumption. Already, AI is playing a major role in renewable energy, maximizing efficiency of power production, and research and development of new materials. Read More
Renewable energy is taking off at exponential rates, putting global clean power "in line with ambitious net-zero scenarios." A new report suggests fossil fuel demand in the energy sector has already peaked, and "will be in freefall" by 2030.
"The fossil fuel era is over," claims the report, titled X-Change: Electricity - On Track for Net Zero and published by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – a non-partisan, non-adversarial sustainability research and consulting organization headquartered in Colorado. The report was put together in partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund. Read More
PNNL researchers have discovered that dissolving a simple sugar into the electrolyte in a flow battery boosts peak power output by a remarkable 60%. What's more, after being constantly cycled for a year, the battery lost almost none of its capacity.
Flow batteries – well, most flow batteries, anyway – aren't the kinds of things you'd expect to find in a car or laptop. They're typically best suited to large, long-duration energy storage jobs, so there's been a lot of interest in them in recent years, as cities struggle to work out how to smooth out the daily, seasonal and weather-related intermittency of renewable energy sources. Read More
$20 billion will be up for grabs to facilitate clean energy projects that will “massively expand investment in new projects that reduce pollution across the country,” the White House said in a statement released on Friday.
The $20 billion in funds is part of the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Read More
07.14.23- The Rise Of Perovskite: A Quantum Leap In Solar Panel Efficiency
With huge amounts of investment being pumped into developing new renewable energy technologies and improving existing equipment worldwide, we are seeing innovations in traditional green energy sources. Solar panels are getting more efficient, capable of generating energy even when the sun’s not shining, and wind turbines are getting bigger and stronger. This shows that renewable energy operations are not rigid, that technologies can evolve, and the appearance of a solar or wind farm today may not be the same as that in 50 years. This also suggests that efficiency will continue to improve as greater funding is provided for research and development in green energy. Read More
International Man: What are Rare Earth Elements (REEs), and why are they so important?
Doug Casey: The REEs are a group of 17 elements that you may recall from your high school chemistry class. They take up two rows in the periodic table, sitting by themselves at the bottom of the chart. They’re chemically similar to each other.
REEs are widely dispersed on the Earth’s surface. They aren’t “rare” per se, but since they’re not generally concentrated, you only rarely find deposits that are rich enough to qualify as a mine for elements like germanium, gadolinium, ytterbium, yttrium, or 14 others with exotic and obscure names. Read More
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study sheds surprising light on how certain superconductors undergo a ‘nematic transition’ – unlocking new, superconducting behavior. The results could help identify unconventional superconducting materials.
Under certain conditions some materials shift their structure to unlock new, superconducting behavior. This structural shift is known as a “nematic transition,” and physicists suspect that it offers a new way to drive materials into a superconducting state where electrons can flow entirely friction-free. Read More
Last year, in the middle of an energy crunch, European governments called on their citizens to consume less energy. They also lashed out at Big Oil for making billions from the squeeze.
Now, Big Oil is the one calling for a reduction in energy consumption. Essentially, supermajors have suggested that people should use less of their products. But they don't want to slash production. Read More
07.10.23- The Promise And Controversy of Bamboo Biofuels
A new scientific paper from GCB Bioenergy has found that bamboo could be the next big thing in biofuels. The authors argue that industrialized agriculture of bamboo for diversion to fuel mixes could be a win-win for the environment, as bamboo is fast-growing, absorbs carbon dioxide, and provides substantial quantities of oxygen to the atmosphere. Various transformative processes including fermentation and pyrolysis could then be used to convert raw bamboo into diverse bioenergy products, with bioethanol and biochar being the primary outputs. Read More
07.08.23- The Bearish Case For Oil Markets
In my commentary for Oilprice.com in April, when OPEC+ surprised the markets with production cuts, I maintained that many were misinterpreting the development, as it will not result in higher oil prices due to falling demand—a tacit confession by OPEC+ and its de facto leader, Saudi Arabia.
07.07.23- Innovative Supply Chain Model Marks A New Era For Hydrogen
Hydrogen has been touted as the clean fuel of the future; it can be extracted from water and produces zero carbon emissions. However, it is currently expensive to transport over long distances, and currently no infrastructure is in place to do so. Read More
07.06.23- Biden Blocking Sun & Destroying Earth
Changes to solar panel technology are accelerating demand for silver, a phenomenon that’s widening a supply deficit for the metal with little additional mine production on the horizon.
Silver, in paste form, provides a conductive layer on the front and the back of silicon solar cells. But the industry is now beginning to make more efficient versions of cells that use a lot more of the metal, which is set to boost increasing consumption. Read More
07.04.23- And Now, for Something Entirely Different: More Truth About World War II
Last week I noted some facts that puncture the myth of the neocons who control the government that World War II was the “good war,” a battle of good against evil, that shows the need for perpetual war. We must fight Russia and China, they say: we don’t want another “Munich,” do we? The facts tell a different story. Read More
A common belief is that if the world does not have adequate energy, the result will be high prices. These high prices will allow more fossil fuels to be extracted or will allow renewables to substitute for fossil fuels.
In my view, the real issue is quite different:
Inadequate energy supply of the types the economy requires can be expected to affect the economy in a way that causes it to become “unglued.” The economy will gradually fall apart as infighting becomes more of a problem. Read More
07.01.23- Are Rocks The Future
The next generation of sustainable energy technology might be built from some low-tech materials: rocks and the sun. Using a new approach known as concentrated solar power, heat from the sun is stored then used to dry foods or create electricity.
The School of Materials, Energy, Water and Environmental Sciences (MEWES), Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology team reporting in ACS Omega has found that certain soapstone and granite samples from Tanzania are well suited for storing this solar heat, featuring high energy densities and stability even at high temperatures. Read More
Generally speaking, central banks are empowered to control the supply of money by employing a number of tools that include buying government debt, selling government bonds, adjusting reserve requirements, and setting official interest rates. Operating under various legal mandates to sustain an overall healthy economy, central banks ostensibly pursue policies that will produce relatively low inflation, steady economic growth, and low public unemployment. Read More
06.29.23- Hydrogen Economy Gets A Boost With New Low-Cost Catalyst
An Argonne National Laboratory team has developed a new catalyst composed of elements abundant in the Earth. It could make possible the low-cost and energy-efficient production of hydrogen for use in transportation and industrial applications.
The reporting paper for the research has been published in Science. Hydrogen can power vehicles while emitting nothing but water. Hydrogen is also an important chemical for many industrial processes, most notably in steel making and ammonia production. Using cleaner hydrogen is highly desirable in those industries. Read More
Every few years, a company announces that it is attempting to commercialize the production of fuel from air and water. To be clear, there are no technical barriers against doing this.
Indeed, carbon can be extracted from air, and hydrogen can be produced from water. Together, those building blocks can be reacted to make fuel — or any number of products. I could easily devise a scheme to produce acetaminophen from air and water. Read More
The ground beneath Case Lake in northeastern Ontario houses a critical mineral that may form the heart of one of the most pressing North American security issues of the century.
The critical mineral is cesium (Cs), and its discovery and potential for development has become a battleground between Canada and the U.S. on one hand, and China on the other. Read More
Over the past few years, the lithium markets exploded as the electrification drive went into overdrive. EV makers like Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) have been scrambling to secure supplies amid rapid EV growth and tight lithium supplies, sending lithium carbonate prices up more than sixfold and spodumene up nearly tenfold in the space of a few years. Read More
Canadian company Volt Lithium has developed and pilot-tested a new low-cost lithium extraction method to pull this critical battery metal out of low-concentration brines. Now it plans to turn old oil fields into lithium production operations.
As the global transition to electric vehicles gathers momentum, and power grids worldwide turn to huge banks of batteries to balance demand against the intermittent supply of renewables, the world is going to need unprecedented amounts of lithium to fuel its insatiable hunger for batteries. Read More
Back in March 2022, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden signed an executive order that banned the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States. Although the ban together with EU sanctions were blamed for skyrocketing global energy prices, U.S. refiners were none the worse for wear since Russia supplied just 3% of U.S. crude oil import. Read More
06.21.23- China Returns To Coal As Hydropower Falters
China’s coal-fired generation has increased the most of any power source this year as hydroelectric production has fallen amid lower-than-normal rainfalls that have reduced water levels on the biggest rivers and depleted hydro reservoirs.
Wind and solar generation have also jumped this year as China leads global renewable energy installation capacity, but the need for stable power generation in the coming heatwaves and energy security is prompting increased coal use, offsetting the emissions benefits of record renewables generation. Read More
Back in February, a proposal by the EU to completely ban cars that run on fossil fuels by 2035 faced heavy opposition led by the bloc’s largest economy, Germany, as well as Poland and Italy. Although a strong clean energy player itself, Germany is also Europe’s ICE superpower, and feared that such a dramatic move could sound a death knell for its pivotal industry. Read More
06.19.23- And Now, for Something Entirely Different: The Great Ron Unz
Ron Unz is a brilliant man with a Ph.D in theoretical physics. He has again and again used his analytical abilities and vast knowledge to question fashionable myths. In doing so, he shows great courage in going against the powers-that-be, who all too often silence those who oppose them. Let’s look at a few examples in which Ron Unz has cast light on current events. Read More
The next iteration in the world of electric vehicles is getting closer...at least, if Toyota's claims are accurate.
06.15.23- 5 Weird Energy Innovations That May Become Reality
Scientists are constantly pushing frontiers in search for solutions to the many challenges that human civilization faces, and nowhere is this truer than in energy.
With the tone of climate change alarm-sounding growing louder by the day, alternative energy sources have become one of the most active areas of innovation. Some of the results of that innovation are literally eye-watering. Others, you could call eye-opening. Read More
I'm certainly not the only person who noticed before now that sustaining our increasing consumption of copper would be difficult as I suggested in my July 2022 piece entitled "Acceleration forever? The increasing momentum of mineral extraction." But the mainstream media now seems to be catching up with the story. The boom in demand for copper for electronic devices, electric vehicles, and energy infrastructure is likely to lead to shortages in the next decade. Read More
06.13.23- Is Geothermal Energy The Key To Decarbonization?
As governments and private firms worldwide invest heavily in research and development into alternative clean energy sources, geothermal energy is attracting greater attention. Although still highly underdeveloped, the potential for new geothermal operations is significant, with countries across Europe converting old fossil fuel projects into geothermal energy sites and using new operations to power industry. But other countries, such as Peru and Japan, are finding it hard to get political and public support for these types of projects. Read More
06.12.23- Zero Carbon Green Agenda
Why are major governments, corporations, think tanks and the Davos WEF all promoting a Zero Carbon global agenda to eliminate use of oil, gas, coal? They know that the turn to solar and wind-based electricity is impossible. It is impossible because of the demand for raw materials from copper to cobalt to lithium to concrete and steel exceeding global supply. It is impossible because of the staggering trillions in cost of battery backup for a “reliable” 100% renewable electric grid. It is also impossible without causing the collapse of our present standard of living and a breakdown of our food supply that will mean mass death from starvation and disease. All this for a scientific fraud called man-made global warming? Read More
Smoke from Canada’s wildfires is preventing solar panels from catching sunlight, and solar power generation in the northeast United States is tumbling by more than 50% as a result.
ISO New England, the operator of the grid, said on Thursday that “In recent days, smoke from wildfires in Canada has traveled to New England, significantly lowering production from solar resources in the region compared to what ISO New England would expect absent the smoke.” Read More
A major reason for the growth in the use of renewable energy is the fact that if a person looks at them narrowly enough–such as by using a model–wind and solar look to be useful. They don’t burn fossil fuels, so it appears that they might be helpful to the environment. As I analyze the situation, I have reached the conclusion that energy modeling misses important points. I believe that profitability signals are much more important. In this post, I discuss some associated issues. Read More
Slovakia's GA Drilling has demonstrated a pair of new technologies it says could unlock geothermal power generation more or less anywhere on the planet. Anchorbit and Plasmabit promise much faster and cheaper drilling into hot rock 10 km (6 miles) underground.
The intense heat under the Earth's surface represents a virtually inexhaustible source of reliable clean energy that would be available 24/7 from anywhere on Earth – you could pull it up as steam to run generator turbines, or pipe it directly into heating systems. Read More
In a previous article I documented how liberal billionaires deceive liberal voters about policies to address global warming, so as to support only policies that will fail; but in this article, I address how conservative billionaires deceive conservative voters to believe either that global warming doesn’t exist or that if it does it’s not largely a result of the burning of fossil fuels by humans. So: the present article is addressed to conservatives and will expose how conservative billionaires fund the deception of those voters. Read More
A Caltech team is celebrating the world's first space-based wireless power transmission, and the first time detectable levels of power have been beamed down to Earth. The Space Solar Power Project (SSPP) aims to unlock huge orbital clean energy resources.
Space-based solar could solve a lot of Earth's clean energy problems; an orbital solar setup can harvest sunlight 24/7 – and the good stuff, too, unmolested by atmosphere or weather conditions. Theoretically, the solar potential in space is eight times better per square meter than a solar panel on Earth. Read More
I really don’t know anyone that would argue that the U.S. economy is in great shape right now. Inflation is out of control, large companies are conducting mass layoffs all over the nation, the housing bubble is starting to implode, and more homeless encampments are constantly popping up in our major cities as poverty spreads like wildfire. But this isn’t the main event. I am calling this “the storm before the storm”, because the truth is that this new economic crisis is still only in the very early chapters. Unfortunately, much more suffering is on the way, and our country is not going to be able to handle it. Read More
06.03.23- The Race For Solar Power
In the latest ambitious project to use solar energy in space for powering the earth, a public-private Japanese partnership plans to test as soon as in 2025 if solar power generated in space can be beamed to the earth and converted into electricity.
The Japanese venture is the latest in a series of plans and experiments in recent months to test if solar power converted into microwaves could be beamed to receiving stations on the earth’s surface for large-scale use. Read More
06.02.23- Nuclear Power May Become Crucial In Decarbonization Efforts
Nuclear power generation could help the world decarbonize energy amid growing global demand for electricity with the ‘electrify everything’ push, including in transportation.
The energy crisis of the past year and a half has led to increased support for nuclear power in many countries, including the U.S., the UK, and even Japan. Read More
The idea here is simple enough: renewable energy is often generated a fair distance from where it's most needed, so let's build an electric ship full of batteries, and jolly well ship it there. Read More
This list could be closer to 50 but let’s just stick to a handful of them. I literally live in this business every day, and I’m just so confused.
Tohoku University researchers have recently developed a prototype calcium metal rechargeable battery capable of 500 cycles of repeated charge-discharge. Five hundred cycles is the benchmark for practical battery use. The breakthrough was made thanks to the development of a copper sulfide nanoparticle/carbon composite cathode and a hydride-based electrolyte.
With the compulsive sales of electric vehicles and grid-scale energy storage systems on the rise, the need to explore alternatives to lithium-ion batteries has never been greater. Read More
The United States has a power line problem. In order to meet its climate goals by 2050, the country will have to expand its existing power transmission infrastructure at an unprecedented scale and pace. But a litany of challenges from a Kafkaesque regulatory process that causes interstate power line projects to fall behind by full decades to pushback from bleeding heart environmental activists and deeply red NIMBYs alike. Read More
Coal is not generally thought of as a clean fuel source, but it might yet have a role to play in the push for greener energy. Researchers say that it could be a great material in which to store hydrogen gas, which is one of the most promising clean fuel sources currently being explored. Read More
As anyone who's ever witnessed a bolt of lightning streaking through the sky knows, the air around us can be filled with an astonishing amount of energy. A new study shows that some of this energy can be harvested using a simple perforated nanofilm that can be made from an astonishing variety of materials.
In 2020, Jun Yao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UMass Amherst, and his colleagues grew nanowires from bacteria known as Geobacter sulfurreducens. The scientists showed how those wires could continuously pull electricity out of the air by harvesting even small amounts of humidity. The system relied on the chemistry of the nanowires that encased them. Read More
05.25.23- Are We Nearing An Inflection Point
Current oil market fundamentals are under pressure, and if you are listening to economists, hedgefunds or Western governments, you may conclude that the sentiment is decidedly bearish. The current low volatility in oil prices is a sign of a potential economic recession. The ongoing debt ceiling debate adds another factor to uncertainty in oil markets, just after the U.S. banking crisis fears dissipated. While bears are currently making a lot of noise, the reality might actually be the opposite. There are indications that a potential bull market is on the horizon, especially when considering the latest oil demand figures presented by the IEA in Paris and OPEC. Read More
05.24.23- Palladium May Be Key To New Era Of Superconductors
At issue is how can we produce the best superconductors that remain superconducting even at the highest possible temperatures and ambient pressure? Vienna University of Technology with collaboration from Japan show there is a ‘Goldilocks zone’ of superconductivity where palladium-based materials (‘palladates’) could be the solution. Read More
05.23.23- How A Cactus Inspired Scientists To Make Cheaper Hydrogen
Engineers at The University of Texas at El Paso have proposed a low-cost, nickel-based material as a catalyst to help split water more cheaply and efficiently. Their inspiration? A desert succulent known as the prickly pear cactus.
The durability and unique design of prickly pear cactus in desert environments by adsorbing moisture through its extensive surface and ability to bear fruits at the edges of leaves inspired this study to adopt a similar 3D architecture. Image Credit: University of Texas at El Paso. Click the study paper link for more information. Read More
05.22.23- Returning Germany to the Stone Age
The generation of electricity using coal and natural gas is being phased out in Germany. Nuclear power plants are being decommissioned. The intention is that all electrical generation will be accomplished using wind and solar power. “Renewable” energy enthusiasts are certain that somehow, by waving their magical sustainable wands, enough electricity can be generated by these methods to power German homes and industry.
The latest word is that the current Green-dominated government is determined to burn its boats so that there can be no going back. Nuclear plants will not simply be decommissioned; they will be destroyed, to make sure they can never be used again. Read More
Years ago, I attended a lecture featuring a leader of China’s energy program at the University of Hong Kong. The significant investment of time and resources in every energy technology and commitment to scaling solutions with reduced environmental impact was eye-opening, but also struck me as an inefficient approach. It is now evident that the world must invest in an all-of-the-above method to meet our energy needs with reduced environmental impact. Read More
For decades it has been the modern version of turning lead into goldbut its promise of clean inexhaustible energy is coming closer every year.
The atomic process that powers the sun has the means to alter how we harness energy to power our world, but conquering the physics of containing a fusion reaction has proven to be enormously difficult. Yet the nation that creates a genuine, sustained, fusion reaction will own the future. Read More
05.18.23- The Massive Solar And Wind Waste Problem
Solar and wind power could have a massive waste problem if not dealt with soon, with growing uncertainty over what to do with components at the end of their lifespan. Some countries are now investing heavily in recycling operations for no longer functioning solar panels and wind turbines, while many others are uncertain about how to best tackle the problem sustainably. But one thing’s for sure, wind and solar power will be a lot less green unless governments worldwide introduce comprehensive regulations on how to manage renewable energy waste appropriately. Read More
While some European nations are sold on nuclear power, others such as Germany remain ignorant of its benefits
The commencement of regular output from a much-delayed Finnish nuclear reactor in April saw electricity prices in the country decrease by more than 75 percent.
The Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear plant completed the transition from testing to regular output last month to become Finland’s first new nuclear plant in more than four decades. It is expected to produce up to 15 percent of the country’s power demand. Read More
In an outrageously audacious move, Washington-based fusion power startup Helion has signed the world's first fusion power supply deal, promising to deliver Microsoft at least 50 megawatts of clean fusion power by 2028, or pay financial penalties.
If you'll forgive the pun, there's been a palpable energy in the field of nuclear fusion over the last few years. It's driven by a fresh crop of companies breaking away from the lugubrious pace of massive inter-governmental projects like ITER, exploring new technologies, and promising practical, low-cost, commercial fusion power on radically shortened timelines. Read More
05.13.23- The Great Potential Of Tidal Energy
As the world begins to feel the urgency of the decarbonization imperative, more investing dollars and public support are available than ever before for renewable energy research and development. As a result, even some of the most futuristic and far-fetched ideas are getting real backing – with real results. Already, technologies that feel ripped out of the pages of science fiction are being proven feasible – from creating an artificial sun here on Earth, to beaming solar power straight from the stars to our own energy grids. But it turns out that space is not the only final frontier for clean energy extraction – and the other one is a lot closer to home. Read More
05.12.23- Visualizing The Crucial Role Of Uranium
Uranium is the primary fuel for nuclear energy, powering more than 400 reactors that make up 10% of the world’s annual electricity generation.
With countries turning back to nuclear power as a clean energy resource, uranium has become a strategically important metal for the future.
This infographic by Visual Capitalist's Govind Bhutada and Zack Aboulazm, sponsored by CanAlaska Uranium explores how uranium’s unique properties allow nuclear power to be clean and efficient, and highlights the outlook for its future. Read More
05.11.23- The World Shouldn’t Just Abandon Coal Mines
As coal mines are being decommissioned at a more rapid rate, in a move away from the most polluting forms of fossil fuels, governments worldwide are considering how these sites may be used for other energy operations. When coal mines close down, hundreds of workers in the region inevitably lose their jobs, with a negative knock-on effect on the local economy. However, if governments and private companies can find a way to reuse these sites for green energy projects, there could be a significant opportunity to re-train workers in new jobs, use existing energy sites to produce power, and support the green transition. Read More
05.10.23- Can Zinc Batteries Compete
ETH Zurich researchers think zinc batteries can be made cheap, efficient, durable, safe and environmentally friendly. All attributes combined would be a breakthrough for the zinc metal battery chemistry effort.
The details about the study have been reported in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.Zinc batteries are considered promising alternatives to lithium-?ion batteries. Read More
05.09.23- The Time Is Finally Right
A powerful combination of scientific breakthroughs, private and public funding, and governmental support has drastically changed the outlook for commercial nuclear fusion. Just ten years ago, reporters and industry experts alike were still joking that “Nuclear fusion is 30 years away...and always will be.” Now, seemingly very suddenly, the narrative has shifted from a conversation about “if” to one about “when.” Instead of postulating that we may possibly see reliable and scalable ignition in our lifetimes, experts are now saying that we could see pilot nuclear power plants within a decade. Read More
05.06.23- Rare Earth Metals See Prices Plunge
The Rare Earths MMI (Monthly Metals Index) suffered yet another significant drop month-over-month. Overall, the index fell 15.81%. These massive drops in prices are the result of several factors. One of the biggest culprits is rising supply and falling demand. Prices for rare earth metals have also decreased due to new mining initiatives cropping up globally. While some parts of the MetalMiner rare earths index traded sideways month-over-month, most components fell, pulling the overall index down sharply. Read More
05.05.23- A Secret War Is Brewing
After a period of relative calm and quiet, there is once again a geopolitical storm brewing out in the South China Sea. This time, there are dual face-offs: one minor spat between China and Malaysia, and another seriously major spat between China and the Philippines.
The South China Sea is one of the most heavily trafficked maritime routes in the entire world. However, the conditions that make it so valuable – namely, its location on the coasts of a considerable number of Asian countries – have also led to major regional tensions over ownership, rights, and tenure. Vast, overlapping swaths of this prized patch of the Pacific are currently being claimed by Brunei, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Read More
A brand new Gallup poll shows that support for nuclear energy in the United States is at a 10-year high. This finding is in keeping with what is proving to be a global groundswell in support of the oft-maligned, always contentious form of energy production. As pressure ramps up globally for the rapid expansion of reliable and low-emissions energy, the myriad benefits of nuclear power are becoming less and less overshadowed by its obvious and sometimes terrifying drawbacks. Read More
05.03.23- The Lies About Green Energy
In 2019, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System, which highlights the importance of nuclear power in decarbonizing the world’s energy sector. The paper notes: “For advanced economies, nuclear has been the biggest low-carbon source of electricity for more than 30 years, and it has played an important role in the security of energy supplies in several countries. But it now faces an uncertain future as ageing plants begin to shut down in advanced economies, partly because of policies to phase them out but also under pressure from market conditions and regulatory barriers.” Read More
Certainly, there a plenty of horror stories about possible disasters awaiting us from emerging technologies. I've written about two of them:
04.29.23- How Competitive
As the U.S. attempts to rapidly expand its renewable energy capacity, with several major green companies emerging, so too are other countries around the world. Renewable startups have quickly risen to become major energy companies, with the potential to contend with big oil and gas names over the coming decades, as the world undergoes a green transition. But what are some of the major players and how do they compare with their U.S. counterparts? Read More
U.S.-based solar stocks sold off heavily on Wednesday, and only slightly recovered on Thursday after one of the sector’s leading names, Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:ENPH), delivered a healthy quarterly report but issued weak guidance sparking fears of industrywide weakness. ENPH shares crashed 25.7% on Wednesday to a 10-month low after the company cut its Q2 revenue guidance, blaming it on weakness in its pivotal U.S. market and higher interest rates.
ENPH took down its U.S.-based peers along with it: First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)-5.2%, Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN)-9.6%, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE)-4.0% while SunPower(NASDAQ:SPWR) lost 9.7%. Interestingly, shares of Chinese solar companies were left unscathed: JinkoSolar Holdings and Daqo New Energy (NYSE:DQ) were flat on the day before rallying on Thursday presumably as new money flowed their way from their U.S. rivals. Read More
The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, has announced that the drilling of its second highly deviated deep well has commenced. This second well will serve as the production well of a two well doublet, and will mirror the existing injection well, which was drilled between October 2020 and February 2021. The new well will be located approximately 300 feet from the injection well. Read More
Up to a trillion dollars in subsidies for low-carbon energy and related infrastructure are up for grabs amid the Biden administration’s push to transform the U.S. economy. The grabbing has already begun. European Union officials made a lot of noise earlier this year when European companies began making expansion plans for the U.S. in a bid to take part in the incentive race. Read More
University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical engineers have developed a model of how catalytic reactions work at the atomic scale. It should be an advance considered a breakthrough in computational chemistry research. The understanding could allow engineers and chemists to develop more efficient catalysts and tune industrial processes – potentially with enormous energy savings, given that 90% of the products we encounter in our lives are produced, at least partially, via catalysis. Read More
Texas locals are concerned about environmental harm from renewable energy facilities and support a bill that would impose more regulations. The industry says it’s being unfairly singled out.
FRANKLIN COUNTY — Volunteer firefighter Jim Emery grew emotional as he spoke to the crowd at an anti-solar development town hall meeting in his northeast Texas community. Emery, who worked for decades at the nearby coal power plant before it closed in 2018, didn’t worry then about pollution from the plant. Read More
Predicting how an industry will look 20 or more years from now is always a challenge. There are always unforeseen factors that have potential powers of disruption that could throw any forecast out the window, and that’s why long-term forecasts tend to be generally vague. Unless they’re about oil and gas. Read More
The effort to increase the percentage of electricity generated by intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar inevitably brings about large increases in the actual price of electricity that must be paid by consumers. The price increases grow and accelerate as the percentage of electricity generated from the intermittent renewables increases toward 100 percent. These statements may seem counterintuitive, given that the cost of fuel for wind and solar generation is zero. Read More
04.20.23- Wind Power Has A Profitability Problem
Despite the strong push to shift to green by installing more renewable energy capacity, many are asking whether the wind energy industry will be able to bounce back quickly from huge losses last year to develop the wind power needed to fuel the green transition. In 2022, several major wind energy firms reported billions in losses due to a plethora of challenges that have made it harder to develop new wind farms worldwide. Now the fear is that companies around the globe may be unwilling to invest in the wind projects needed to accelerate the movement away from fossil fuels to green alternatives if they cannot see the potential for profits. Read More
04.19.23- U.S. Gasoline Prices Rise To 5-Month High
U.S. gasoline prices rose for the third week in a row, rising $.076 per gallon from a week ago to $3.65 per gallon yesterday, new GasBuddy data showed, reaching the highest level since November 2022.
The national average for a gallon of gasoline is $.221 cents more than it was a month ago, according to GasBuddy data. Read More
04.18.23- Has Germany’s Era Of Nuclear Energy Come To An End?
Germany took its last three nuclear power plants offline on Saturday, ending more than six decades of commercial nuclear energy use.
The power plants Emsland in Niedersachsen, Isar-2 in Bavaria, and Neckwarestheim-2 in Baden-Württemberg were taken off the grid this weekend despite rising public support for nuclear power generation in recent months. Read More
Predicting how an industry will look 20 or more years from now is always a challenge. There are always unforeseen factors that have potential powers of disruption that could throw any forecast out the window, and that’s why long-term forecasts tend to be generally vague. Unless they’re about oil and gas.
When it comes to oil and gas, there are two schools of long-term forecasting thought, and these two schools are at odds with each other. One school—the transition school—argues that the electrification of transport and the transformation of electricity generation will ultimately lead to the demise of oil and gas as commodities underpinning the global economy. Read More
Solar cells are good for the environment, but they have downsides. They’re expensive to make, and there are limited ways to recycle them. But researchers have developed a new manufacturing technique that may address both of these issues.It’s well known that solar power is good for the environment. There are no direct greenhouse gas emissions, and sunlight is a renewable resource that is unlikely to run out any time soon. Read More
“On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce tough new tailpipe emission standards designed to effectively force the auto industry to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars,” reports The Verge, with the provocative headline “The End Is Nigh for Gas-Powered Cars.”
Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) is the newest religion, and we all know who the practitioners are. Electric vehicle (EV) owners sing “Hallelujah” when they pull out of their garages. The investor-class ESG evangelists believe the new belief is in its beginnings. Whatever the Biden EPA does, investor Harris Kupperman thinks it’s likely just the Church of What’s Happening Now. Read More
Tokamak Energy has released the first images of what its commercial fusion power plant, which it says would safely generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes in the 2030s, would look like.
The company, based near Oxford in the UK, plans to build a fusion pilot plant around its upcoming ST-E1 tokamak, which it says will be ready for rollout in the early 2030s to demonstrate the ability to deliver electricity to the grid, opening the potential for 500-megawatt commercial plants to be deployed worldwide. Read More
04.12.23- The Pros And Cons of Modular Nuclear Reactors
Did you ever get the feeling that you’ve seen this movie before, except with another name? The remake, maybe in color this time or with a younger cast? Well, nothing wrong with recycling but not when you get the uncomfortable notion that the actors don’t know that somebody did it before them.
Take nuclear power. What went wrong last time around? We suggest that a principal culprit was customization. Almost every utility wanted a nuke tailored to its needs, site by site. Thus, each site had its own problems, and solving them produced little experience that helped anywhere else. France, of course, was the main exception. The French state, which owned the utility, settled on one design and repeated it again and again. Of course, the French utility had the scale that U.S. and British's utilities lacked. Read More
04.11.23- America’s Hourly Energy Mix, Explained
The U.S. has a dynamic electricity mix, with a range of energy sources generating electricity at different times of the day.
04.10.23- Can Big Oil Scale Geothermal?
The oil and gas industry is exploring the potential of geothermal energy to provide more clean electricity and heating. While geothermal has the advantage of not being dependent on weather like other green energy sources, this form of energy has higher development costs and longer lead times than solar and wind power. Geothermal could, in theory, be a perfect fit for the oil and gas industry and drilling service providers—it involves subsurface resource mapping, exploration, and drilling. Several major firms and service providers have recently teamed up with start-ups and with technology and engineering firms to explore opportunities for geothermal development in the United States and elsewhere. Read More
04.08.23- Golden Question? Is The Petrodollar The Next Thing To Break?
As we warned throughout 2022, the Fed’s overly rapid and overly steep rate hikes would only “work” until things began breaking, and, well…things have clearly begun to break, including the petrodollar.
Even prior to the recent headlines regarding US regional banks, “credit event” stressors were already tipping like dominoes around the world, from the 2019 repo crisis and the 2020 bond spiral to the 2022 gilt implosion. Read More
Perovskites are one of the most promising new materials for solar cell technology. Now engineers at the University of Rochester have developed a new way to more than triple the material’s efficiency by adding a layer of reflective silver underneath it.
For the better part of a century, silicon has been the go-to material for making solar cells, thanks to its abundance and efficiency in converting light to an electrical current. But in just the last decade, a new contender has rapidly risen through the ranks – perovskite, which is much cheaper and has already caught up to silicon in efficiency.Read More
OPEC+ on Sunday surprised oil markets with an announcement that it will reduce its output further, by some 1.66 million barrels daily.
04.05.23- Did Oil Just Fool Everyone?
A handful of key assets are on the verge of major moves this week.
Gold is on the cusp of a significant breakout above $2,000 as the US Dollar index drops. Any significant extension above the mythical $2K mark should attract a ton of attention from the mainstream financial media, lighting the fuse for an even bigger momentum move in the metal and the miners. Read More
04.04.23- New Ceramic Battery Could Replace Lithium-Ion Batteries
Scientists at Vienna University of Technology have invented a new oxygen ion battery chemistry based on ceramic materials. If it degrades, it can be regenerated, therefore it potentially has an extremely long lifespan. Also, it does not require any rare elements and it is incombustible. For large energy storage systems, this could be an optimal solution. Read More
Demand For Fuel Tankers Jumps Amid Global Trade Reshuffle
With global trade being upended by sanctions on Russia while Asia and the Middle East add refining capacity at the expense of the U.S. and Europe, orders for fuel tankers have soared so far this year to the highest in a decade.
04.01.23- The Energy Transition
The “energy transition” continues to receive thunderous applause from all the usual Beltway suspects, an exercise in groupthink fantasy amazing to behold. For those with actual lives to live and thus uninterested in silliness: The “energy transition” is a massive shift, wholly artificial and politicized, from conventional energy inexpensive (Table 1b and here), reliable, and very clean given the proper policy environment, toward such unconventional energy technologies as wind and solar power. Read More
Crude oil may end the week with another gain on the back of disrupted supply from Iraq.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that has been used for centuries to power homes, businesses, and industries. It is a clean-burning fuel that emits fewer greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels like coal and oil. In this article, we will explore what natural gas is, where it comes from, what it is used for, and why it is important.
What is Natural Gas? Read More
Early this month, Tesla’s Elon Musk announced the company’s next-generation cars would cost half as much as current models. The bombastic statement was completely in character and did not exactly take the media world by storm, but it made its way into rivals’ headquarters and raised some hackles. Musk is notorious for setting his companies’ overambitious targets and then failing to hit them as planned. Yet Tesla did become a profitable company, and it continues to be consistently profitable, with its bestsellers in many markets. Chances are, however outrageous a statement by Musk is, his rivals would hear it and not ignore it. And maybe start arming themselves for the coming price war. Read More
Last month, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) pulled the plug on its 14-year-long algae biofuels project, becoming the last oil company to abandon what was once considered the fuel of the future.The whole idea was not without merit, though. Algae do have some clear advantages over other biofuel candidates, mainly because these photosynthetic microorganisms are super-efficient at converting sunlight into biomass; have high lipid content of up to 80% for some varieties and are more versatile than, say, corn, a common biofuel crop. Read More
03.27.23- Why Japan Isn’t Tapping It's Incredible Geothermal Potential
Japan, a large energy importer where coal and gas make up two-thirds of electricity generation, has one abundant domestic renewable energy source that has remained untapped—geothermal energy.
Geothermal resources in Japan, thought to be the world's third largest, could stay deep underground despite Japan's net-zero by 2050 pledge and the fact that it is still very much dependent on fossil fuels for a large part of its electricity consumption. Read More
The government of Bolivia has called on its neighbors, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, to work on setting a Latin America-wide policy on the exploitation of lithium. The idea is part of a broader initiative to form an OPEC-like cartel to collectively boost these countries' bargaining power.
President Luis Are spoke in La Paz, saying, "We must be united in the market, in a sovereign manner, with prices that benefit our economies, and one of the ways, already proposed by (Mexico's) President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is to think of a kind of lithium OPEC." Read More
This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report. Unsurprisingly alarming, the report aimed to turn up the heat on governments, the business world, and every one of us to do more about the energy transition. Decarbonization, the report said, had to move faster and more dramatically. Yet that wasn’t the only document that made the headlines this week. Shell also released a report in which it detailed two different scenarios for the future to 2050. In those scenarios, the supermajor’s analysts pitted energy security against the energy transition – something the IPCC reports have never done. Read More
Crude oil prices moved lower today as the Federal Reserve signaled the U.S. economy is not yet out of the woods and the EIA reported yet another weekly build in crude oil stocks.
Although prices had inched up right after the Fed’s monetary policy meeting, which concluded with a decision for a 25-basis-point interest rate hike, they got pressured by comments made by chair Jerome Powell about credit risks in the banking system of the country. Read More
The price of lithium has experienced a significant decline over recent months, resulting from a deceleration in electric vehicle sales and an increasing supply of the key ingredient used in battery packs.
Since November, the average price of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China has plunged from $84,500 per metric ton to $42,500, or about a 50% decline, according to Bloomberg. Read More
03.21.23- The Evolution of Residential Energy Storage
In the world of residential energy storage, what’s old is new again.
When solar energy for residential properties first became popular toward the end of the 20th century, an overwhelming majority of systems ran on batteries.
But in the early 2000s, governmental policies including net metering, tax credits, and other local incentives de-emphasized the importance of batteries during solar installs. Read More
There’s an old adage for commodities that says, “the cure for high prices is high prices.” The inverse is true as well. In fact, I often heard this phrase when I worked in the oil industry.
At the same time, I often heard people say “But this time is different. This time there is no easy cure.” I heard that in 2008 when oil prices first topped $100 a barrel. Many people were predicting $200 a barrel. But a funny thing happened. Those high oil prices caused a recession, which reduced demand, which reduced prices. Read More
03.18.23- The U.S. Is Racing To Revitalize Its Nuclear Industry
Unlike many other countries around the world, the U.S. has kept its nuclear power up and running, making it the biggest producer of nuclear power today. Nevertheless, after falling out of public favor, nuclear power was little talked about in previous decades, with many power plants going into debt and barely keeping afloat. At present, nuclear power provides around 20 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and this is largely thanks to government grants helping power plants maintain operations. But now, as countries worldwide consider nuclear power once again, the U.S. is ramping up its investments in the low-carbon energy source in a bid to bring nuclear back from the brink and use it to support a green transition. Read More
The global electric vehicle (EV) market is reeling from one of the most dramatic collapses in monthly sales to date, with Rystad Energy research showing that only 672,000 units were sold in January, almost half of December 2022 sales and a mere 3% year-on-year increase over January 2022. The EV market share among all passenger car sales also tumbled to 14% in January, well down on the 23% seen in December. Read More
03.16.23- Global Oil Production Dropped
Crude oil production worldwide fell to a seven-month low in January, dragged down by lower output in major producers Canada, Iraq, Russia, and Bahrain, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Thursday.
Global oil production declined by 365,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January, which was the third consecutive month of falling output, showed the JODI data shared by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum (IEF). Read More
03.15.23- Oil Nosedives After SVB Collapse
Last Friday, the banking regulator of California shut down Silicon Valley Bank and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver of its assets.
03.14.23- America’s Grid Has A Multi-Trillion Dollar Problem
Numbers are out again permitting us to update our US electric grid’s reliability report card. Last year, 2022, was nowhere near as bad as 2021–the worst year of the 24-year record. It was “only” the fourth worst year. Severe storms, fire, floods, snow, hurricanes — many often in the same places. Whether we call it weather or climate, utilities and other infrastructure providers face new challenges. The electric industry’s response to this increasing cycle of weather disruption followed by system repair is to basically reinforce the status quo with a reassuring, “Don’t worry, we’ll fix the grid better than before.” Read More
University of Ottawa’s laboratory in photonics and renewable energy has developed a new method for measuring the solar energy produced by bifacial solar panels. The double-sided solar technology is expected to meet increased global energy demands into the future.
Published in the journal Joule, this study from the SUNLAB team in the Faculties of Engineering and Science proposes a characterization method that will improve the measurement of bifacial panels indoors by considering external effects of ground cover such as snow, grass and soil. This will provide a way to consistently test bifacial solar panel performance indoors that accurately represents how the panels will perform outdoors. Read More
Illinois relies on nuclear energy for over half of its electricity production. The plants producing that power are mostly old and scheduled to be mothballed by 2050.
But Illinois nevertheless maintains a decades-long, total moratorium on new nuclear power plant construction.
Illinois’ shortsightedness is exceeded by its hubris. Federal government safety standards for construction and operation of nuclear plants is extraordinarily strict. Read More
03.10.23- The U.S. Solar Industry Is Set To Rebound In 2023
The U.S. solar market is expected to recover this year from the policy-driven supply constraints which weighed on the sector in 2022, a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie showed on Thursday.
Most people have a simple, but wrong, idea about how the world economy will respond to “not enough energy to go around.” They expect that oil prices will rise. With these higher prices, producers will be able to extract more fossil fuels so the system can go on as before. They also believe that wind turbines, solar panels and other so-called renewables can be made with these fossil fuels, perhaps extending the life of the system further. Read More
This question has been on the minds of many experts in recent years.
Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly important as the world moves towards a more sustainable and green future. While solar, wind, and hydropower are some of the most well-known renewable energy sources, many unconventional and even weird energy sourcescould play a significant role in our transition to a greener future.
Here is a closer look at six of the weirdest sources of energy:Read More
Calls to ban gas stoves are anti-science, anti-freedom, and anti-energy
Instead of informing us with accurate science about gas stoves so we can make better decisions, anti-fossil fuel activists are distorting science to justify forcing their anti-gas agenda on us.
03.04.23- And Now, for Something Entirely Different: We’ll Soon Find Out
The crown of America sits in a gutter begging someone to pick it up before the nation collapses— Auron MacIntyre, The Blaze
In an interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier last Tuesday, FBI Director Chris Wray said, “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.” Like so much else in America’s tortured, distractible life these days, the meaning larded into that utterance went clear over the collective heads of just about everybody.Read More
The world is rapidly transitioning towards renewable energy sources in order to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. One of the most promising technologies in this regard is green hydrogen, which has the potential to revolutionize the energy industry.
What is Green Hydrogen? Read More
The energy transition and the global energy crisis have triggered deep transformations within international energy trade. To wit, hydrogen and hydrogen-based products, including ammonia and synthetic fuels, are expected to gain the upper hand at the expense of fossil fuels including coal, oil and natural gas in the long-term. If governments across the globe adopt the Announced Pledges Scenarios set out in 2021, energy trade in 2050 will be roughly at current levels but the energy mix will be very different with hydrogen-based fuels and critical minerals gaining significant ground at the expense of oil products. In the Net Zero Scenario, the value of energy trade would shrink while hydrogen and critical raw materials (CRM) such as rare earth elements, cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper will dominate. Read More
Most current fusion power projects require tritium – an incredibly scarce and problematic fuel. TAE is targeting cheaper, safer hydrogen-boron (H-B) fusion, and it's just announced a world-first measurement of H-B fusion in magnetically confined plasma. Read More
If 2022 turbocharged the green hydrogen economy, then 2023 is the start of a long slog for this nascent sector that is set to be the backbone for decarbonization, transition and energy security strategies. Rystad Energy research has found that electrolyzer capacity is expected to grow by 186% from 2022 to 2023. Attention is therefore turning to the supply chain capacity necessary for electrolyzer production. Read More
Denver's Keystone Tower Systems says it can cut the cost of wind energy with tech borrowed from pipemaking. It uses spiral welding techniques to roll sheet steel into huge turbine towers on-site, stronger, faster and cheaper than current techniques. Read More
The total number of total active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 7 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published on Friday.
The total rig count fell to 753 this week—103 rigs higher than the rig count this time in 2022 and 322 rigs lower than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic. Read More
02.24.23- Attacks On The U.S. Power Grid Are Surging
The number of attacks with gunfire or vandalism on the U.S. power grid infrastructure surged last year and is likely to continue rising this year, too, a confidential analysis seen by The Wall Street Journal has shown.
Last year, the number of physical attacks – including intrusion, vandalism, and gunfire – jumped by 71% from 2021, according to the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or E-ISAC, a division of North American Electric Reliability Corporation. Read More
02.23.23- Could Gravity Batteries Win The Energy Storage War?
As renewable energy operations continue to expand worldwide, governments and energy companies are racing to develop battery storage capacity to ensure that people have access to clean energy at all hours of the day and night. The inconsistency of many renewable energy sources has made the need for battery storage greater than ever, which has spurred a huge amount of investment into new battery technologies around the globe. Now, gravity batteries may help us harness the power of wind and solar farms even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun’s not shining. Read More
An artist's impression of a perovskite (cyan) solar cell with a new layer of material underneath (gray), which boosts efficiency by creating reflections of electron-hole pairs (red and blue)>>
Perovskites are one of the most promising new materials for solar cell technology. Now engineers at the University of Rochester have developed a new way to more than triple the material’s efficiency by adding a layer of reflective silver underneath it. Read More
02.21.23- Electric Vehicles Are Anti-Market and Anti-Environment
On the perfection of the free-market
While I was doing my biweekly commute I couldn’t help myself notice, from time to time, a stranded car leaning on the side of the road. It usually was an older (about twenty-year-old) German car, but sometimes newer cars also. Read More
All of the signs are pointing to the Russian military transforming the Special Military Operation into a full-blown invasion of Ukraine next week. Simplicius goes into considerable detail about the mobilization and positioning of Russian forces and concludes that the invasion will be conducted on very different principles and will begin on the anniversary of the original operation.
Putin is now officially scheduled to give a big State of the Nation address on February 21st, which falls precisely on the anniversary of his pivotal Feb. 21, 2022 speech where he first announced the recognition of LPR/DPR’s independence, leading the way to the big Feb. 24 speech which announced the actual full military launch of the SMO invasion. Read More
The surge in energy prices over the past year could push another 141 million people globally into extreme poverty, due to the cost-of-living crisis, a new study showed this week.
Total energy costs of households are set to jump by between 62.6% and 112.9%, contributing to a 2.7% to 4.8% increase in household expenditures, researchers said in the study published in the journal Nature Energy. Read More
Puerto Rico’s electrical grid was already woefully under-invested in and poorly maintained when the category 4 Hurricane Maria crashed into the island in September, 2017. The fallout from the storm was enormous, with thousands of casualties and immeasurable damage to the island’s infrastructure. The power grid was almost completely destroyed. The devastation triggered the longest and most sweeping blackout in all of United States history, and the majority of the approximately 3,000 people who died from the storm didn’t die from the hurricane itself, but from issues relating to the lack of electricity powering hospitals and other essential services. Read More
The results entitled ‘First-Principles Microkinetic Modeling Unraveling the Performance of Edge-Decorated Nanocarbons for Hydrogen Production from Methane’ have been published atACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Read More
One of the biggest problems facing solar energy is that it is variable. Solar production waxes and wanes according to variables well outside of human control. The amount of sunlight hitting a solar panel in a given day depends on the weather and the season. Further complicating the issue, the times of day when demand for energy is highest are often opposite of peak production hours. Solar panels are just clocked out when all of us get home and turn on our lights, start cooking, and our heating systems work harder to keep the house warm as the sun goes down. Read More
The new catalyst splits seawater and generates hydrogen extremely efficiently in the lab, resisting corrosion and avoiding chlorine production. The research team says it'll be easy to manufacture at scale, and should be cheap enough at commercial scale to help green hydrogen compete with fossil fuels
Green hydrogen can't be viewed as environmentally friendly if it drinks huge amounts of fresh water, or results in the bulk output of toxic chlorine, according to RMIT researchers who say they've come up with a cheap technique that does neither. Read More
02.13.23- The Future Is Bright
Everyone’s been talking about green hydrogen as a potential gas and fuel replacement as the world transitions away from fossil fuels. But one alternative, pink hydrogen, produced using nuclear power, has been largely overlooked. Governments worldwide are once again discussing nuclear power, with plans to construct several new power plants around the globe. This is largely in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and resulting energy insecurity, which has demonstrated the world’s ongoing reliance on a few select powers for their oil and gas needs. Many countries are looking to become more self-sufficient when it comes to energy, with a wider array of renewable energy options now on the table. So, could pink hydrogen be one of the major power sources of the future? Read More
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has offered a new technique called Underground Gravity Energy Storage that turns decommissioned mines into long-term energy storage solutions.
Renewable energy sources are central to the energy transition toward a more sustainable future. However, as sources like sunshine and wind are inherently variable and inconsistent, finding ways to store energy in an accessible and efficient way is crucial. While there are many effective solutions for daily energy storage, the most common being batteries, a cost-effective long-term solution is still lacking. Read More
As the up-front costs of clean energy technologies continue to fall, attention is turning to lifetime system costs and how they affect the long-term profitability of large-scale distributed energy resources (DERs). Not surprisingly, these systems drive better financial returns by generating electricity reliably — day in and day out — without costly maintenance or failures. So, the question becomes, what system component is key to owning and operating a profitable system. Read More
02.09.23- Small Modular Reactors
Nuclear power is back in the headlines. Its proponents say, “We need renewables and nuclear. Maybe, though, not the same kind of nuclear as before. Maybe small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).” Three distinct achievements in modular nuclear reactors made the news recently. Read More
This year may well be remembered as the moment the world woke up to the power, the potential and the world-inverting threat of artificial intelligence. OpenAI's humble, free-to-use chatbot has made it clear: life will never be the same after ChatGPT.
We are witnessing a revolution. After the stunning debut of OpenAI's Dall-E 2 image generatorlast year, the company opened its natural language generator up to the public at the end of November last year. Since then, it's spread like wildfire, amassing more than 100 million users in its first two months, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history and the buzzword of the year. Read More
02.07.23- Tidal Energy To See
Outstanding renewable energy potential and some lever early moves have positioned South Australia as one of the world's leading renewable energy regions – now it's planning a hydrogen-powered energy storage moonshot
The state that built the world's first grid-level "big battery" is striking out on an even more ambitious green energy project: the world's biggest hydrogen power station, fed by an electrolysis facility 10 times larger than anything running today. Read More
02.04.23- Nuclear Power Is Entering A New Era
The global energy crisis is putting an unprecedented squeeze on the nuclear power industry. The urgent need to shore up energy security in the context of the Russian war in Ukraine has convalesced with the equally urgent need to decarbonize the global energy mix as the line of no return for catastrophic climate change grows ever closer. For many countries, this has meant that public and private sector leaders have been forced to reconsider their attitudes toward nuclear energy, a proven emissions-free technology capable of producing a whole lot of energy reliably and consistently. Read More
There are already "smart" windows that can be electronically switched between either letting sunlight through or blocking it. A new multi-layered one, however, can be set to severalenergy-saving light filtration modes.
By adjusting the opacity of the glass on existing photochromic windows, users can control how much sunlight passes through the window and into the room. In most cases, the glass partially blocks the sunlight's visible spectrum – keeping the room from getting too bright – along with its infrared spectrum, keeping the room from getting too warm. Read More
Green hydrogen is going to demand a lot of water for electrolysis – nine liters of pure water for every kilogram of hydrogen. Researchers say they've found a simple way to use seawater in standard electrolyzers, and that's big news for clean energy. Read More
As with many base metals, aluminum prices rose at the beginning of January. While it is true that China raising aluminum export taxes could have impacted aluminum prices, the market has witnessed somewhat volatile conditions since late September of 2022. And though prices are nowhere near their March 2022 historic rally levels, they still remain at historic highs. Read More
For years, small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) have been teased as the next big thing in clean energy. They were promised to be the solution to safely and efficiently scaling nuclear energy and the catalyst that would bring the nuclear energy renaissance into full swing. But then they never arrived. Read More
It is easy for anyone to say that they are against fossil fuels. Opposition to coal, oil and natural gas is fashionable and will prompt heads to nod and even hands to applaud in most places.
But are people aware of the extent to which their lives are dependent on fossil fuels? Do they know that more than 90 percent of things used in their everyday lives are derived from fossil fuels? Read More
01.28.23- Sodium-Ion Batteries Just Got More Competitive
Pusan National University researchers have invented a new sodium ion anode material. They are using a recently developed pyrolyzed quinacridones, new carbonaceous anode materials, that are efficient, easily prepared, and exhibit excellent electrochemical properties, including high sodium-ion storage performance and cycling stability.
01.27.23- Will Geothermal Energy
The most cutting-edge approach for saving the planet from climate disaster doesn’t sound like it’s ripped out of the pages of science fiction. In fact, it doesn’t even sound like it’s ripped from the headlines. Far from new but nonetheless noteworthy, the ancient energy technology of using heat from the Earth’s core is finally ready for its close-up. While geothermal energy is already used around the world in relatively small-scale operations, scientists are working on scaling what could potentially be a clean, abundant, and cost-effective form of energy production suitable for almost anywhere on the planet. Read More
01.26.23- How Environmental Fear-mongering Derailed The Nuclear Energy Boom
Despite high hopes for nuclear power several decades ago, when the development of many large-scale nuclear plants was underway and numerous projects were already up and running, we are living far from the dream once envisioned by nuclear scientists, who were hoping to deliver vast amounts of clean energy to the world and offer a replacement for fossil fuels. Nuclear energy once presented the idea of a fossil fuel-free future, with power plants providing abundant clean energy to populations around the world. However, following a few prolific nuclear disasters, the world quickly turned its back on nuclear, and environmentalists worldwide made sure we never forgot about the high risks involved with nuclear power. Now, as several countries are putting nuclear power back on the agenda, many are questioning whether this fearmongering was really justified, given the major risks involved with continuing fossil fuel operations. Read More
Is this the dawn of a new nuclear era? Across the world, there are rumblings of a new push for nuclear as a solution to decarbonizing global energy production, even from environmentalist groups, representing a stark turnaround for many. Even the most anti-nuclear countries, such as Germany and Japan, have been extending the lives of their existing nuclear plants, flying in the face of their previous pledges to phase out the divisive technology altogether. While nuclear power never died in some key economies, such as China and Russia, more influential world leaders in the West are now getting on board, signaling a potential sea change for the nuclear power industry. Read More
01.24.23- U.S. Gasoline Prices
Gasoline prices continue to climb for the fourth straight week, rising 32.7 cents over the last month as crude oil prices rise, data from AAA showed on Monday.
Gasoline prices are up 11.8 cents over a week ago, and are 9.4 cents higher than they were a year ago, before Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. Read More
This week, the world’s first ammonia-powered, zero-emissions semi truck was unveiled, potentially signaling the dawn of a new era for the shipping and transportation industry. Like Tesla’s semi truck, Brooklyn company Amogy’s ammonia-powered truck holds about 900 kWh of energy. Unlike the Tesla semi, it takes just about eight minutes to refuel. And, according to Amogy, their new model has five times the system-level energy density of batteries. Read More
01.21.23- SpaceX Rocket Sends Solar Power Prototype Into Orbit
The Caltech Space Solar Power Project (SSPP) prototype launched into orbit, dubbed the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD), will test several key components of an ambitious plan to harvest solar power in space and beam the energy back to Earth.
Space solar power provides a way to tap into the practically unlimited supply of solar energy in outer space, where the energy is constantly available without being subjected to the cycles of day and night, seasons, and cloud cover.
Last month the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California announced a significant breakthrough in nuclear fusion research. Since then, a number of people have asked me what this breakthrough really means.
First, let’s discuss some basics of nuclear fusion. Today’s nuclear power plants are based on nuclear fission, which is the splitting of a heavy isotope like uranium-235 into two smaller isotopes. (Isotopes are just different forms of an element). Read More
Magnets hold the inner cylinder in place, stopping it from rotating until it reaches the peak of a wave, where it can be released to create the maximum triboelectric effect
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed an unusual way to harvest wave power, with a gently rolling cylinder designed around the triboelectric effect that causes static shocks after you walk on certain carpets. Read More
Every other car sold in 2030 in the three largest EV markets – China, Europe, and the United States – will be an electric vehicle, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.
In 2030, every second car sold in Europe, the US, and China, the three largest car markets for electric cars, will be an electric car, the IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Read More
01.17.23- Dung-powered tractor drives down agricultural emissions
The system, upon which New Holland has partnered with UK company Bennamann, works roughly like this: farmers collect as much cow poop as possible as a slurry, and instead of directly using it as fertilizer, they pump it into large tanks, or covered lagoons. Anaerobic organisms chow down on this lumpy thickshake, and produce a biogas that contains mainly methane. Read More
01.16.23- Biofuel Production Is Set To Soar
What makes an energy source renewable? This question has been at the center of numerous debates in recent months as government agencies around the world rewrite their energy policies in the wake of the massive energy sector shakeup brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and pushed into overdrive by Russia’s war in Ukraine. We are currently living through a “global energy crisis of unprecedented depth and complexity,” according to the recently released World Energy Outlook 2022, an annual flagship report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to the IEA’s analysis, “there is no going back to the way things were.” Read More
01.14.23- Where Are Oil Prices Heading In 2023?
At the beginning of 2023, several factors are at play in determining the short and medium-term trend in oil prices this year. Supply and demand concerns, tightening monetary policy globally, expectations of a material slowdown in economic growth and possible recessions, and China’s reopening with a Covid exit wave are all impacting crude oil prices. Read More
As OilPrice's Alex Kimani writes, oil prices have kicked off the new year on the back foot, tumbling to large losses in the first week before staging a modest recovery in the second as demand uncertainty continues to weigh on trading. Concerns over the rapid expansion of China’s COVID cases, following the relaxation of strict zero-COVID policies have continued to weigh heavily on oil prices. Read More
UMich researchers have demonstrated an artificial photosynthesis device 10 times more efficient and one hundredth the size of previous devices of its kind. This green hydrogen production method also improves over time, and can split seawater. Read More
The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) is upping the ante on offshore wind, announcing it's building the largest and most powerful wind turbine ever, making a peak 18 megawatts with an enormous 260-meter (853-ft) diameter on its three-bladed rotor.
It makes sense for a shipbuilding enterprise to get involved with this project; the blades of much smaller turbines are already a huge pain to transport, so building them right next to a dock in a facility designed for making, handling and launching enormous structures into the water eliminates a ton of problems as you attempt to go bigger. Read More
Boston's Form Energy says its iron-air battery systems will provide hundred hour-plus grid-scale energy storage at a tenth the price of lithium "big battery" installations
One of the most exciting companies in grid-level renewable energy storage – if you're the type to get excited about this kind of thing – is Form Energy, whose innovative iron-air technology promises to outperform lithium "big battery" projects at 10% of the cost. It's preparing to scale up with its first factory. Read More
A few years ago, the notion that the United States could become the largest LNG exporter in the world would have sounded fantastical. And yet last year, it did just that: the U.S. exported as much liquefied natural gas as Qatar in 2022, at over 81 billion cu m. And it’s going to export more this year. But the boom may end sooner than many expect. Most of the gas liquefied at Gulf of Mexico terminals last year went to Europe, which was blown off its course towards a fossil fuel-free future by the war in Ukraine and its own reaction to the Russian invasion, which took the form of sanctions that prompted an unsurprising response from Moscow in the form of lower gas deliveries. Read More
Crude oil prices could exceed $140 per barrel yet this year if China’s economy fully reopens, hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand said on Friday.
Andurand sees the possibility of crude oil demand growing by more than 4 million barrels per day this year—a 4% increase over last year. This far exceeds crude demand growth set out for 2023 by other oil market forecasters. Read More
01.06.23- What Would It Take To Completely Decarbonize Jet Fuel?
Arizona State University research shows a pathway toward full decarbonization of U.S. aviation fuel use by substituting conventional jet fuel with sustainably produced biofuels. The study found that planting the grass miscanthus on 23.2 million hectares of existing marginal agricultural lands – land that often lays fallow or is poor in soil quality – across the United States would provide enough biomass feedstock to meet the liquid fuel demands of the U.S. aviation sector fully from biofuels, an amount expected to reach 30 billion gallons/year by 2040.Everyday, 45,000 planes fly across the United States, carrying some 1.7 million passengers. Aviation dominates a frequent traveler’s individual contribution to climate change, and yet is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize. Read More
City University of Hong Kong researchers have announced two new hydrogen production catalysts based on mineral gel and ‘crystalline-amorphous’ dual-phase nano-aluminum alloy.
In the first topic the researchers’ findings have been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications under the title “Two-dimensional mineral hydrogel-derived single atoms-anchored heterostructures for ultrastable hydrogen evolution”. The first author of the paper is Dr Lyu Fucong from CityU. The corresponding authors are Professor Lu, Dr Li Yangyang, Associate Professor in MSE, and Dr Sun Ligang, Assistant Professor in the School of Science at the Harbin Institute of Technology. Read More
01.04.23- Renewable Energy Jobs On The Rise
In 2021, global renewable energy jobs reached 12.7 million in a trend that’s set to continue. Despite fears of a severe decrease in fossil fuel jobs worldwide, as we transition to renewable energy, the good news is that opportunities in green energy increasing rapidly. The number of jobs in renewable energy grew by around 700,000 globally between 2020 and 2021, according to the Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2022 by IRENA and the ILO. Read More
01.03.23- Will Big Plans For Nuclear Power Work Without Russian Uranium?
Many world powers have sped-up plans to introduce new nuclear power plants in a bid to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decarbonise. Due to the high energy demand, many countries around the globe view renewable energy as insufficient in the mid-term to provide enough energy to meet the needs of the growing world population. However, nuclear power could provide a low-carbon alternative, offering abundant energy and low emissions. Read More
Growth stocks have been thoroughly hammered this year, with high inflation and rising interest rates pinching growth equities of all stripes. But few stocks exemplify the dramatic shake-up at the top, like leading EV maker Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA). TSLA stock has tanked 69.5% in the year-to-date, wiping off a staggering $877 billion from its market cap. In comparison, the S&P 500 has declined a more modest 19.7% over the timeframe. Read More
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