09.28.21- Oil Prices Top $80 Per Barrel For First Time In 3 Years
The writing is on the wall for the fossil fuels industry. For decades, climate scientists and environmental activists have been urging the world to move away from dirty and finite energy sources like coal, oil, and gas and to transition toward renewable energies that have a much lighter impact on the climate and the environment as a whole. While the world has been slow to respond to these escalating pleas for decarbonization, it looks like the global community has finally entered the clean energy transition in earnest. Read More
Record gas and electricity prices in Europe, record coal prices in China, multiyear-high gas prices in the United States and oil prices well above their real long-term average are all manifestations of the same global energy shortage.
In the aftermath of the coronavirus recession, energy production has failed to keep up with rapid growth in consumption, as energy producers struggle to raise output while demand has bounced back quickly. Read More
09.24.21- Hydrogen Fueled Cars Are Making A Comeback
The race is on for car manufacturers to bring out their own range on electric vehicles (EV). But what if the new kid on the block ends up taking over? Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota are among the major firms now testing out hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in their production lines to see which proves the most successful. Car manufacturers are competing to produce the most efficient vehicles that do not rely on traditional fuels such as petroleum and diesel, as part of the international push to tackle climate change through decarbonization. Many see EVs as the answer, as the battery technology is tried and tested, and brands such as Tesla have put EVs in the public eye for years. But a lesser number of car manufacturers are now considering hydrogen FCEVs as the way forward. Read More
Nuclear advocates point out that the much-maligned form of energy production is actually one of the safest out there. And, importantly, nuclear energy production has a virtually nonexistent carbon footprint. It’s a highly efficient form of climate-friendly energy production, and yet it’s still a hard sell. Nuclear power plants are being decommissioned around the world, and have particularly fallen out of favor in the United States. But nuclear still has a lot of fans who make a lot of compelling points, and they are intent on making themselves heard. Read More
U.S. crude oil futures slipped below $72/bbl on Friday but managed to close with a fourth straight weekly gain thanks in large part to the slow recovery in production following two hurricanes in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Oil markets have, however, kicked off the new week on a losing note, with WTI trading at $70.40/bbl after pulling back from a seven-week high of $72.86/bbl that it hit on Wednesday.Natural gas prices have also pulled back from a seven-year high of $5.460/MMBtu, also set on Wednesday, to trade at $4.99/MMBtu as demand concerns have resurfaced following China reporting a new Covid-19 outbreak in Fujian province while Japan has extended stricter lockdown measures. Read More
The French Revolution began in 1789. Maximilien Robespierre was one of its most eager proponents. An extreme left-winger, he sought a totalitarian rule that claimed to be “for the people” (echoing the recently successful American Revolution), but in reality was “for the rulers.” He in turn inspired Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto.
Both Robespierre and Marx had been well-born and well-educated but rather spoiled and, as young adults, found that they had no particular talent or inclination to pay their own way in life through gainful employment. Consequently, they shared a hatred for those who succeeded economically through their own efforts and sought a governmental system that would drain such people of their achievements, to be shared amongst those who had achieved less. Read More
A cross-section of Wall Street experts has been downplaying the recent surge in oil prices, saying that it’s unlikely to hurt the global recovery. One indicator that lends credence to this claim is the oil load, or the cost of oil as a proportion of gross domestic product. According to Morgan Stanley, the oil load--which is an indicator of the impact of oil on growth--is expected to reach 2.8% of global GDP in 2021, significantly lower than the long-term average of 3.2%, assuming an average oil price of $75 per barrel this year. Read More
09.18.21- America's Infrastructure Crisis Is Growing Increasingly Dire
Despite promises of improved infrastructure and better disaster preparedness, governments and energy giants are failing to provide backup energy provisions to areas hit hard by extreme weather conditions again and again. As these events are becoming more frequent and stronger, how will the energy industry prepare for the future of energy provision?
The ongoing discussion over energy infrastructure resilience which is brought up year after year peaked in February in the U.S. as Texas battled against a severe winter storm that saw the electrical grid shut down and thousands of buildings lose power. Many across the state had to rely on generators to heat their houses to escape freezing temperatures for up to a week. Read More
09.17.21- Europe’s Energy Crisis Is Driving Up Natural Gas Prices Worldwide
Natural gas prices all over the world are surging amid a perfect storm of tight regional gas markets and soaring power prices in Europe. The natural gas rally isn’t over yet—and it has further room to hit fresh record highs, especially if the coming winter turns out to be colder than typical in the northern hemisphere. The natural gas crunch and the sky-is-the-limit rally in electricity prices are most evident in Europe. But the increased interdependence among regional gas markets in the U.S., Asia, and Europe in recent years now means that natural gas price spikes in one region cannot be ignored by the markets in the other regions. Read More
Scientists have demonstrated a new type of high-capacity battery architecture that leans on sugar for long-term stability
Among the many exciting chemistries being pursued for next-generation batteries, lithium-sulfur is one with significant potential, owing to its ability to store up to five times as much energy as today's lithium-ion solutions. Scientists in Australia have come up with a new design for this promising architecture that involves adding sugar to address inherent stability issues, a move that keeps the experimental cells ticking across more than 1,000 cycles. Read More
Exactly two weeks ago, we laid out the investment thesis for what our friends at Adventures in Capitalism dubbed was a "bitcoin-like opportunity in Uranium." In a nutshell, in mid-August, the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, then roughly $300 million, announced that it would unleash an unprecedented buying spree in physical uranium, a relatively small market, in hopes of forcing a physical shortage and sending the price of urnium higher, leading to more buying of the Trust, more purchases of uranium, even higher prices and so on. Read More
Natural gas prices have hit their highest levels since 2014, outpacing oil and many other commodities. On Monday, natural gas futures were trading up 2.6% to $5.09 per million British thermal units (BTUs), their highest settlement price since February 2014. Natural gas prices are up 117.6% in the year-to-date, while the biggest nat. gas benchmark, the United States Natural Gas ETF, LP (NYSEARCA:UNG) is up 88.6% over the timeframe. The sticker shock is even greater in other key natural gas markets around the globe, with East Asian benchmark futures and European natural gas spot prices have climbed 4-5 times year-ago levels to $18 per MMBtu. Read More
Hopes and positive expectations for larger vehicle inventories and lower prices for this summer are now dimming as a prolonged semiconductor chip shortage has caused several major car manufacturers to cut production. GM announced it would pause production at eight of its 15 North American assembly plants during the next two weeks due to the chip shortage. Read More
09.11.21- YOU Can't Handle the 9/11 Truth
The old cliched joke in newsrooms used to be: “Nuclear fusion is 30 years away...and always will be.” While that cheeky adage has continued to ring true even as scientists made small advancements and mini-breakthroughs in over the last 100 years, things are finally starting to catch traction in the highly experimental world of man-made nuclear fusion.
A recent record-breaking experiment at the United States National Ignition Facility (NIF), based at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California got remarkably close to achieving net energy creation from their laser-based fusion experiment. Read More
09.09.21- Oil Price Chaos Continues After Record Crude Production Plunge, Major Gasoline Draw
Scientists at Empa have developed a new CIGS flexible solar cell with a record efficiency of 21.38 percent
Solar cells fashioned into thin and flexible films might not just open up new possibilities in the generation of renewable energy, but could also drive down manufacturing costs. One team of scientists in Switzerland has been working to bring the technology's efficiency up to the levels offered by rigid solar cells, and have taken another step toward this goal by setting a new record of 21.4 percent. Read More
A meetup in a vehicle warehouse in Houston served as an encounter point for oil producers and bitcoin miners to talk about possible on-site crypto mining opportunities last week. More than 200 investors attended the meeting to talk about an alliance, that would allow oil producers to make more efficient management of their resources and miners could take advantage of direct sources of energy that would be wasted otherwise. Read More
09.06.21- Weaponizing Carbon Dioxide
In the 20th century, oil became a major geopolitical weapon, most notably during OPEC’s 1973 oil embargo which caused a cataclysm shift in global power relations. OPEC continues to utilize this weapon to influence policy in the 21st century. Today, however, we are witnessing the development of another energy-related weapon that OPEC does not control: CO2. The power of CO2 was recently displayed by China when it signaled to the U.S. that it would not comply with its climate and decarbonization efforts if the U.S. continued accusing China of genocide. At the same time, China is increasing its reliance on coal, which will impact the global emissions targets set by Net Zero nations and allies. Notably, atmospheric CO2 from emitting countries is not beholden to terrestrial land borders. Read More
Future electricity systems must be made more resilient
Prolonged blackouts in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida are a reminder the power grid needs to become more resilient as well as reliable if even more services such as electric vehicles are going to depend on it in future.
Long-haul shipping will be incredibly hard to decarbonize – but green ammonia offers a path forward
You'll be hearing a lot more about ammonia as a clean fuel option as the race to zero carbon by 2050 progresses. In particular, it looks like a strong option for long-haul shipping and trucking. So what is it, how is it made, and how does it shape up as a green fuel?
Chemically, ammonia is a molecule comprising three hydrogen atoms, each linked to one central nitrogen atom. Both very common elements; the Earth's atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, and hydrogen is of course the most abundant element in the universe. That doesn't mean it's simple to produce, but we'll get to that. Read More
A new form of energy-harvesting wooden flooring can generate enough power for small electronics through footsteps
motion-powered mesh that heals injured tendons. Among these possibilities is flooring that can generate energy to power electronics, and ETH Zurich scientists have now developed a highly efficient form of this technology and demonstrated its capabilities by powering a lamp with footsteps. Read More
The Wendelstein 7-X stellarator is an experimental nuclear fusion reactor designed to bring us closer to the prospect of clean, limitless energy, and since producing its first plasma in 2015 we've seen it take steady and significant steps toward that aim. Physicists have just confirmed another "major advance" that could see the reactor host plasma twice as hot as the Sun's core as a result of efforts to address inherent energy losses in the design. Read More
08.31.21- Top 5 Uses of Petroleum
As much as 95 percent of oil production in the U.S. section of the Gulf of Mexico has been shut in, as hurricane Ida passed through it before making landfall in Louisiana earlier today.
According to data from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, some 288 production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated. This is more than half of the manned platforms in the Gulf. Read More
The price of WTI crude oil could be headed for a jump of between 20 percent and 50 percent, judging from a bullish breakout pattern that suggests a major rally could be coming for an asset, and that has occurred just three times for crude this century, an equity strategist told CNBC this week.
“Crude oil has seen what’s called a golden cross on its weekly chart,” Matt Maley, Equity Strategist at Miller Tabak, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” program. Read More
Just 100 years ago, when English mathematician and astronomer Arthur Eddington suggested that the stars power themselves through a process of merging atoms to create energy, heat, and light, the idea was an unthinkable novelty. Now, in 2021, we’re getting remarkably close to recreating the process of nuclear fusion here on Earth. Over the last century, scientists have been steadily chasing commercial nuclear fusion, ‘the holy grail of clean energy.’ The first direct demonstration of fusion in a lab took place just 12 years after it was conceptualized, at Cambridge University in 1932, followed by the world’s first attempt to build a fusion reactor in 1938. In 1950, Soviet scientists Andrei Sakharov and Igor Tamm propelled the pursuit forward with their development of the tokamak, a fusion device involving massive magnets which is still at the heart of many major fusion pursuits today, including the world’s biggest nuclear fusion experiment ITER. Read More
08.26.21- New Breakthrough Sparks Hope For Nuclear Fusion Ambitions
The decades-long dream of scientists to replicate the reaction of nuclear fusion of hydrogen atoms in the Sun just took a major step toward reality after U.S. scientists came close to triggering ignition for the first time ever.
The milestone in nuclear fusion research gives hope to scientists around the world that nuclear fusion can be achieved on Earth after decades of experiments. The breakthrough also makes researchers and energy enthusiasts hopeful that humanity could be on the cusp of achieving clean, safe, zero-waste energy that would help advance the world's ambitions to reach net-zero emissions. Read More
The individual who spotted and shared the following story has asked to remain completely anonymous, but I’d like to offer a deep thank you for passing it along…
When you read this story, I think you’ll see why the article is significant, why the individual passed it along, and why it raises so many questions: Read More
China's MingYang Smart Energy has announced an offshore wind turbine even bigger than GE's monstrous Haliade-X. The MySE 16.0-242 is a 16-megawatt, 242-meter-tall (794-ft) behemoth capable of powering 20,000 homes per unit over a 25-year service life.
The stats on these renewable-energy colossi are getting pretty crazy. When MingYang's new turbine first spins up in prototype form next year, its three 118-m (387-ft) blades will sweep a 46,000-sq-m (495,140-sq-ft) area bigger than six soccer fields. Read More
The Afghan army wasn’t real. The Afghan Civil Authority was never real. They never collected taxes. There were no courts outside of police robbing people. None of it ever existed… it was just a big jobs program funded by American money, and the moment it looked like the money would go away, everyone went home.
– Former U.S. soldier Graham Platner, interviewed by The Jerusalem Post Read More
08.21.21- Get Ready For The SPAC Frenzy
Investors are increasingly piling into clean energy start-ups to take them public and help them raise funds to develop their low-carbon solutions.
Many of those investors opt to do so via the hottest Wall Street trend of last year—SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, commonly known as blank-check companies.
SPACs are public companies, and in recent years, they have become a popular vehicle for taking a private company public after a merger or an acquisition.Read More
A semiconductor supply crunch is forcing world-leading car manufacturers Volkswagen and Toyota to slash vehicle production.
Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, announced it will cut production by 40 percent in September. Instead of making 900,000 as planned the manufacturing giant will now produce just 500,000 cars. Read More
Scientists at Australia's RMIT investigating the massive untapped potential of wave energy have come up with a novel design for a convertor they say operates with far greater efficiency than comparable solutions, and which they hope could open the door to widespread commercial use of the technology. The team's prototype employs a novel dual-turbine design that sidesteps some common technical issues, and proved capable of harvesting twice the energy from waves as current designs in early experiments. Read More
I’d like to stop writing about COVID, but I can’t because it has such strong economic implications, which can’t be separated. And I’m afraid policies will be enacted that will only make things worse.
We all know the Delta variant of the COVID virus (SARS-CoV-2) is spreading rapidly in the U.S. and Australia. Major outbreaks have also hit India and Brazil.
What has received less attention is the fact that the Delta variant is now also spreading in China. That’s ironic because the virus started in China at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Read More
08.17.21- Can ‘Nuclear’ Hydrogen Become Competitive?
The appeal of nuclear power in the Western world has dropped significantly after the disaster with Japan's Fukushima power plant. It fueled the skepticism of taxpayers and the willingness of politicians to approve new projects that cost years if not decades to finish and leave behind a radioactive legacy that remains a hazard for thousands of years. The UK is one of the few exceptions where a nuclear power plant is under construction at, Hinkley Point C, and a second one, Sizewell C, is awaiting approval. French state-owned EDF is the company behind the revival of the nuclear industry on the island. Although proponents have touted the necessity of carbon-free technologies to produce electricity, Hinkley Point C’s eye-watering price tag of $27.8bn for 3.2 GW is a reason for concern. Furthermore, research has shown that the typical nuclear power plant built since the 1970s had a cost overrun of 241 percent. Read More
Two-thirds of Americans are interested in electric cars. Sales of EVs hit a record of more than 300,000 in the first half of the year. Everything seems to be going well for EVs and their makers. And yet, gas station owners are having trouble justifying the costs of installing EV chargers because the economics don’t make sense.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jennifer Hiller wrote in a recent article that some gas station owners are adding EV chargers to ensure their future market share in a more EV-dominated future. Many others, however, find it hard to justify spending more than $100,000 to install a charging unit. Read More
The wellspring of Lake Mead created by the dam’s blocking of the Colorado River has plummeted to a historic low as states in the west face hefty cuts in their water supplies
Had the formidable white arc of the Hoover dam never held back the Colorado River, the US west would probably have no Los Angeles or Las Vegas as we know them today. No sprawling food bowl of wheat, alfalfa and corn. No dreams of relocating to live in a tamed desert. The river, and dam, made the west; now the climate crisis threatens to break it. Read More
Shell's Quest project in Alberta, Canada, captures and sequesters carbon dioxide emissions from production of "blue hydrogen">
The hydrogen industry is gearing up to play an important role in the global transition to clean energy – particularly in hard-to-abate sectors like aviation and steel production. As it grows, you're going to start hearing more about colors. Black hydrogen is produced through coal gasification. Grey comes from reforming natural gas. Brown is made by partially oxidizing lignite, or brown coal, under high pressure. Currently, 96 percent of H2 production falls under these dirty categories. Read More
While solar and wind are the dominant segments in the transition to renewables, a number of emerging markets are looking to geothermal sources as a way to meet future energy needs.Geothermal energy – which is generated when pipes drilled into the earth’s surface supply steam to power electricity turbines – lags behind other forms of renewables in terms of installed capacity; however, it is an effective solution for many countries. Read More
Scientists have developed a novel high-density battery that weighs the same as two grains of rice
One of the many interesting areas of cutting-edge battery research involves the idea of using structural components to also store energy. We've seen how this could be applied to electric vehicles and gear for soldiers as a way of saving weight, and now scientists have applied this type of thinking to microbatteries light enough to be carried by insects that pack up to four times the energy density as a result. Read More
Days ago we pointed out a report that dove into the unique risks of placing lithium ion batteries all over the world (including in electric vehicles).
The catastrophic drought in California has forced the state government to shut down one of its largest hydroelectric power plants.
The Edward Hyatt Power Plant is California’s second-largest conventional hydroelectric power station. It is located in the Lake Oroville reservoir in Butte County, northern California. The dam is part of a sprawling system that moves water from the mountainsin the northern regions of California for the rest of the state to use for personal and power consumption. Read More
The black gold has been trading higher than 5, 100 and 200 days' moving averages but lower than the 20 and 50 day’s moving averages on the daily chart.
Crude oil prices traded higher on August 6 and recouped some of the losses suffered earlier in the week on rising Middle East tensions but were on track for a weekly decline. However, the upside was capped as fresh restrictions were imposed by nations to curb the spread of Delta variant of coronavirus cases that threatened recovery in fuel demand. The energy commodity extended gains to trade at the day’s high after a gap-up start, tracking the firm global trend. Read More
08.06.21- Renewables Need Big Oil To Thrive
We need the expertise, experience, and financial backing of Big Oil to drive wind energy forward in the U.S., following years of strong investments from oil firms across the country kickstarting the industry. As activists and international agencies continue to criticize Big Oil for its role in climate change and environmental degradation, it is precisely those firms that have made some of the more significant investments and added some of the greatest value to renewable energy projects across North America. Read More
Last Friday, a Megapack at the world’s biggest energy storage construction site caught fire. It took firefighters three days to put the fire out. In a way, however, the incident, which took place in Australia, ignited another fire: a debate about the safety of lithium-ion batteries. Media coverage of energy storage rarely mentions any risks. The focus is invariably on bigger and better storage in anticipation of the future low-carbon energy systems that we are now trying to build. New technologies—including alternatives to lithium-ion batteries—are a frequent topic, and stats and forecasts about storage capacity are also a favorite.
Combustion risks, not so much. Read More
After struggling for weeks trying to work out details of how to pay for the legislation, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is reportedly close to finishing their behind-the-scenes negotiations and unveil a $1.2T infrastructure bill. The bill includes $550B in new spending, with analysts generally bullish about its chances of passing in the Senate, though its fate in the House remains uncertain.
The newest issue of Barron's has analyzed several infrastructure plays that could benefit from the new federal spending with the likes of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Deere (NYSE:DE), United Rentals (NYSE:URI), Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC), Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM), and Terex (NYSE:TEX) jumping after the latest development. Read More
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) launched on Tuesday the construction of the first onshore small nuclear reactor in the world, in its efforts to gain a leading position in the modular reactors market.
This one is a stunner, with far-reaching ramifications and implications, and our thanks to S.S. for sharing this article. And the title speaks for itself:
While there’s much detail in this article worthy of careful consideration, ponder closely just the opening paragraphs:
Household batteries could contribute to making the grid more cost effective, reliable, resilient, and safe—if retail battery providers, utilities, and regulators can resolve delicate commercial, operational, and policy issues.
The growth of battery storage in the power sector has attracted a great deal of attention in the industry and media. Much of that attention focuses on utility-scale batteries and on batteries for commercial and industrial customers. While these larger batteries are critical segments of the energy-storage market, the rapid growth of residential energy storage is outpacing expectations, and these household systems will likely become important assets sooner than many expect. The growth trajectory and potential value of these household systems to customers and the power grid warrants a closer look. Read More
While many are quick to crow about the "Earth-saving" benefits of electric vehicles, few have looked at the incremental demand in power necessary to meet the growing demand of the "green" vehicles. Furthermore, even fewer have looked at who could stand to benefit from the increased demand.
In a new note called "The Future of Energy Demand" out this week, Goldman Sachs looked at both of these points. Read More
The United States’ energy independence is under threat. For decades, the gush of cheap and abundant shale oil and gas out of the West Texas Permian Basin has allowed the U.S. a large degree of energy security and sovereignty, as well as giving the nation a great deal of sway in global energy markets. But U.S. energy titans and politicians have gotten complacent. As the country has doggedly stuck to the status quo, the rest of the world has been investing heavily in clean energy infrastructure, research, and development. And the United States is getting left behind in the dust. This won’t be the first time that the United States has had to struggle with energy insecurity. The shale revolution completely and totally redrew the world’s geopolitical map, but that was a relatively recent occurrence. Read More
Research groups and startups the world over are working to take nuclear fusion from a fanciful concept to a practical, zero-carbon means of producing practically infinite electricity, and one such team in Washington has just taken a significant step forward. Startup Helion Energy has this week broken ground on a new facility that will become a crucial testbed for its own take on nuclear fusion, and it hopes a key stepping stone towards the first commercially-viable fusion power plant. Read More
Boston's Form Energy says its iron-air battery systems will provide long-term grid-scale energy storage at a tenth the price of lithium "big battery" installations
Boston's Form Energy is building a commercial-scale pilot of a remarkable new grid-scale battery project that could make a huge contribution to long-term energy storage as the world moves away from fossil fuels. These simple iron-air batteries store up to 100 hours of energy at a tenth the cost of a lithium battery farm. Read More
07.26.21- And Now, for Something Entirely Different: Big Fail
Is it still lying if you’re senile? Ethics experts and other viziers of morality might puzzle that out now that something-like-truth is emerging about Covid-19 and the vaccines that have set-up about 150-million Americans — and many more folks in other countries — for a premature exit from this world by way of thrombotic organ failure.
Hence: did the blunt tip of the “Joe Biden” regime’s spear, Ol’ White “Joe Biden” himself, actually lie Wednesday when he told American’s (and the world) that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe? And to “stay calm and get vaccinated?” Read More
07.24.21- Alternative Energy
10¹? watts - that’s roughly the amount of energy at the disposal of a civilization that can harness all the incident solar radiation that falls on a planet from its parent star - Type I on the Kardashev scale. When renown astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev first set out to measure a civilization’s level of technological advancement in 1964, he settled on energy consumption as the best metric for gaging progress on a cosmic scale. Read More
07.23.21- The World Will Run Out Of EV Batteries By 2025
In many ways, the world is not ready for the EV revolution. While electric vehicles are an absolutely invaluable and essential component of the clean energy revolution and combating climate change and imperative which grows more urgent with each passing second, the world has been unable (or, in some cases, unwilling) to keep up with the necessary infrastructure installations and investments to prepare for the kind of wide-scale adoption which is both necessary and imminent. For one thing, even in some of the most developed countries in the world, aging power grids are entirely unprepared to handle the onslaught of increased energy demand as more and more of the country leaves their gas guzzlers behind and plugin. This problem is far from insurmountable, and can indeed be all but completely solved by making our energy use and production more efficient, but it needs to be addressed in a big hurry in order to make the EV revolution viable. Read More
The global war on emissions has exploded in recent years, with every company, industry, and government on earth now desperately attempting to reduce its carbon footprint. From the introduction of carbon taxes to the adoption of electric vehicles and the rising market share of renewable energy, carbon is under attack. But not all industries are equal, and the aviation industry, in particular, has proven incredibly hard to decarbonize. Today, we will take a look at why jet fuel is so hard to replace and whether it will ever be possible to fly emissions-free. Read More
07.21.21- Bitcoin Miners Embrace Nuclear Power
China is pursuing an experimental form of nuclear fission in thorium molten salt reactors, and will reportedly begin tests at a facility in the coming months
China is moving ahead with development of an experimental reactor that would be the first of its kind in the world, but could prove key to the pursuit of clean and safe nuclear power. According to local news reports, the Chinese government intends to finish building a prototype molten salt nuclear reactor in the desert city of Wuwei in the coming months, with plans to establish a number of larger-scale plants in similar settings thereafter. Read More
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has begun the first phase of a project to transform a segment of the state's highway into wireless charging pavement for electric vehicles, according to local news WRTV.
INDOT partnered with Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification (ASPIRE) Initiative, in a three-phase project that will use magnetizable concrete, developed by a German startup Magment GmbH, to allow seamless wireless charging of electric vehicles while in motion. Read More
07.17.21- The American Pipeline War
It is not a great time to be an oil pipeline developer or operator in North America these days. Policymakers are canceling projects and threatening to close operational pipelines. Environmental groups are becoming more vocal in their opposition to any form of fossil fuel production in Canada and subsequent plans for the transportation of crude from Canada’s oil sands sites to U.S. refining hubs. And this increased pressure on pipelines may change the industry forever. Read More
“Aye, harpoons…stuck in him like so many corkscrews. Aye, his spout is big, like Nantucket wheat. Aye, by death and devils, the white whale is Moby-Dick, if Moby-Dick you see! It was Moby-Dick that dismantled me, that reaped off my leg like a mower, a blade of grass and left me with this dead stump I stand on…The prophecy was that I should be dismembered; and—Aye! I lost this leg. I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer.” (Herman Melville, Moby Dick)
Scattered among my files, there are notes for a work called The Magician Awakes. Some notes I’ve already included in articles. Here is one passage I’ve never published. It’s narrated by a character who is wandering through a labyrinth: Read More
The failure to prosecute George Floyd rioters and looters has created for blacks a form of “squatter’s rights” to loot stores. San Francisco has an even more insane government than Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York. In San Francisco children of the criminal class become District Attorney. San Francisco’s District Attorney is Chesa Boudin, whose parents were members of the violent Weather Underground and were convicted of murdering two police officers and a security guard. Boudin was raised by other members of the violent group. Read More
As the spread of the novel coronavirus disrupted industries around the world, the rate of global greenhouse gas emissions took a big dip. BP’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy, released Thursday, compiles data showing that the 2020 global health crisis resulted in falling rates of primary energy and carbon emissions at levels unseen since World War II. World energy demand plummeted by an estimated 4.5 percent and global carbon emissions resulting from energy use dropped by 6.3 percent -- historically massive contractions. Read More
07.13.21- The IEA Warns Of Another Oil Price War
The oil market has been on edge for a week now, entertaining the possibility of a new price war within the OPEC+ alliance, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday, adding that the current impasse is also threatening to derail the global economic recovery.
In June, global oil demand is estimated to have jumped by as much as 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 96.8 million bpd, the agency said in its closely watched Oil Market Report for July. Read More
After seven consecutive weeks of gains, oil prices have gone into reverse gear once again, thanks mainly to a collapse in OPEC+ talks.
Oil prices have been reeling ever since OPEC+ talks collapsed on Monday due to major disagreements by its members. Major cracks appeared in the ministerial meeting with the United Arab Emirates continuing to block an agreement because it wants to increase its oil production before demand falls as per WSJ. The market fears that the UAE might "want out of OPEC so it can pump 4M bbl/day and make hay while the sun shines,". Read More
Way back in March, a veritable eternity ago if you measure by the daily news cycle, Oilprice reported that high oil prices were coming down the pike, and while oil execs celebrated their long, painful comeback, consumers would be the ones to pay the price at the pumps. And now, at long last, that prophecy is coming to pass in full force. Read More
07.09.21- The Mega-Challenge Of Creating
Hydrogen has become a buzzword that has stirred the energy industry. Although some fossil fuel-dependent countries feel threatened, others see opportunities. And while skeptics first dismissed it as a 'hype', policymakers and those in the private sector that believe in the technology’s future, have steadily increased the stakes. It is becoming clear that the application of hydrogen (whether green, blue, or another color) isn't a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Many media outlets have been reporting on the potential of hydrogen and its value for the energy transition. Oilprice.com, for example, has on multiple occasions informed its readers on the paradigm-changing plans of several countries such as Germany, Japan, and Norway, to name some. The race is on and the stakes are high. However, one can ask the legitimate question of whether the massive investments make sense when the technology hasn’t proven its value yet. Read More
The number of warnings for new commodity shortages amid the energy transitions has just grown by two: Macquarie Bank and Credit Suisse recently warned investment clients that the supply of lithium will remain tight for the observable future, pushing prices higher continuously.
Such warnings are hardly a surprise as barely a day goes by without a buoyant story or two about surging EV sales, even if the surge is the only forecast for now. Yet the push to electrify transport appears unstoppable, creating a situation that will inevitably lead to higher lithium prices as it seems that the challengers of lithium-ion batteries have been quite slow to come to market. Read More
Oil prices are soaring and look set to continue their climb after OPEC+ failed to increase production. Meanwhile, solar energy is cheap and appears to be getting cheaper by the day. Despite the contrast between the two, it looks like oil and gas stocks are on course to outperform solar stocks. The solar sector’s most widely used benchmark, Invesco Solar Portfolio ETF (NYSEARCA:TAN), has gained 4% over the past week and 12% over the past 30 days. The industry is now focused on making panels more powerful as it continues to squeeze as much efficiency as possible out of solar tech. However, according to Xiaojing Sun, global solar research leader at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, the reduction in the cost of module prices has slowed notably in the past two years. Read More
A new membrane production process could improve water desalination
That ancient mariner was onto something when he said “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” – the vast majority of water on Earth is undrinkable. Desalination could be a vital technology to meet the world’s drinking water needs, and now Korean engineers have developed a new nanofiber membrane that can operate efficiently for long periods. Read More
It’s been over a decade since 10 million people in the United States lost their homes in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. Over a decade since the financial devastation set in motion by the housing crash caused a recession which destroyed over $30 trillion of the world’s wealth and 5,000 suicides in Europe and North America alone. Over a decade since the banks, bankers, and Wall Street CEOs who caused the housing bubble to fill and then burst from the whiplash momentum of their own greed got government bailouts and walked away virtually scot-free. And apparently, that’s more than enough time for us to forget any lessons learned and dangerously toy with housing markets all over again. Read More
07.03.21- Heat Waves and HAARP
My email inbox was so stuffed this past week that it was very difficult to decide what to blog about. Indeed, I’ve already done one blog this week on two different articles submitted by two different people, because I thought those articles might have been related.
Today is the same: we have two different articles submitted by two different people that might be related, and in my “high octane speculation methodology” I am going to assume that they are. Read More
The consumer-wearable devices of today have come a long way from the days of the clunky Google Glass. A Pew Research study last year found that roughly one-in-five U.S. adults (21%) regularly wear a smartwatch or wearable fitness tracker. This trend is helping fuel robust growth, with the consumer wearables market projected to expand from nearly $37.10 billion in 2020 to $104.39 billion by 2027 thanks to advances in sensors, materials science and cloud computing. The modern wearable ecosystem runs the entire gamut of sensors from conventional sports trackers, smartwatches, and on-body cameras to heart rate meters and eye-wear. Next-generation wearables will also involve augmented-, virtual-, mixed-, and enhanced-reality devices, various smart clothes, and industrial wearable equipment. Read More
You might recall that not too long ago China accomplished the remarkable feat of sending a probe to and landing it on the far side of the Moon, a feat requiring the placing of relay satellites around that body, and then landing the probe. There were a few pictures, and then, silence. A few weeks ago yet another story was in the news – one I even blogged about – as scientists are discussing the idea of building an Arecibo-like radio telescope in a lunar crater, again on the “far side.”
It does appear that, now, things might be accelerating as far as the Moon is concerned. Accordingly, today we’re considering two articles in tandem, the first shared by W.G.: Read More
Well-respected Austrian solar energy company Fronius has broken ground on its first customer green hydrogen hub, giving us a good look at what it'll take to run a fleet of vehicles on green hydrogen produced entirely on-site using solar panels.
The first Fronius SolHub is under construction as part of SAN Group's new hydrogen facility in Herzogenburg, Lower Austria. Producing an average of around 100 kg of clean hydrogen a day, it'll be used as a filling station for SAN's own hydrogen vehicles. SAN is also working out deals with other companies interested in potentially running their own similar hubs, to use this facility as a demonstrator of sorts. Read More
06.29.21- Why Lithium Prices Could Soon Return To Record Highs
Lithium producers are adding new production capacity to meet booming demand for the critical metal as the world pushes for greener energy. Suppliers of the key mineral have turned quite optimistic this year that global demand for lithium will soar in the coming decades with the increased uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and battery storage.
Surging demand is set to drive lithium prices higher, lithium producers say in an outlook on the industry that turned decisively bullish this year.Read More
On December 31st of last year, an 80 year-old Buffalo-area woman named Judith Smentkiewicz fell ill with Covid-19. She was rushed by ambulance to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Williamsville, New York, where she was put on a ventilator. Her son Michael and his wife flew up from Georgia, and were given grim news. Judith, doctors said, had a 20% chance at survival, and even if she made it, she’d be on a ventilator for a month. Read More
Oil prices are on course to close out another week of gains despite fears of Iranian production coming back online and OPEC+ preparing to increase its output. Read More
06.25.21- Solar Has An Unlikely New Enemy
Wind and solar generation capacity topped new capacity additions in 2020 despite the pandemic, prompting praise from energy authorities and environmentalists, as well as urges for picking up the pace so wind and solar—especially solar—could become the dominant source of energy for the world sooner than 2030. The narrative of the cheap solar panel is so common, few question it at all, especially when it features data about the declining cost curve of panels. According to this narrative, solar farm electricity is already cheaper than the electricity produced by gas-fired plants. Read More
Anyone who's held a beach ball underwater knows how powerful a force buoyancy can be. Now it's being harnessed as a grid-scale energy storage system that could be cheaper than big batteries
The Sun doesn't always shine exactly when you want to boil a kettle; the more we rely on renewable energy, the more energy storage we'll need. You can store your excess electricity by using it to pump water up a hill. You can use it to compress air, or to spin up a giant flywheel, or lift a huge concrete block off the ground. Most commonly, you can simply use it to charge up some big ol' grid-scale batteries. Read More
06.23.21- Is The Green Hydrogen Hype Warranted?
When you imagine a clean energy future, what does it look like? For most people, the idea conjures images of spinning fields of wind turbines and massive solar farms. But while wind and solar are excellent and increasingly efficient and affordable forms of clean energy production, they have their limitations. The first and most commonly known drawback to wind and solar is that these forms of energy production are variable, which is to say that they can’t produce power inconsistent quantities around the block. Wind and solar power both depend on weather patterns, which humans still haven’t found a way to control despite all of our other nature-defying feats, and the time of day -- you can’t extract energy from the sun’s rays if only the moon is out. This means that, unlike with conventional fossil fuels, the flow of energy to the grid from wind and solar comes in stops and starts that can’t always be reliably predicted. Read More
More evidence of the absurdity called “Green Renewable Energy” occurred last month as 90 Mitsibushi wind turbines were demolished in New Mexico. Thus, the BIG JOKE is that Renewable Energy is really Non-Renewable as a large percentage of old wind and solar power units end up in landfills. With tons of explosives, these 90 wind turbines were demolished and mostly sent to the landfill. Read More
06.21.21- Rising Demand Closes The Gap Between WTI And Brent Prices
Rising oil demand in the United States and flat domestic production in recent months have boosted the price of the U.S. oil benchmark WTI Crude, which has significantly narrowed the discount to Brent Crude in recent weeks.
06.19.21- Here comes global cooling
I offer this piece, not to dig into the science, but to show how strong the media effect is. Thirty-five years ago, newspapers and magazines were drumming up support for a global cooling scare.
Notice the language in this April 28, 1975, Newsweek article, “The Cooling World,” by Peter Gwynne. It has the same rhythms today’s warming pieces display, the same transitions, the same reliance, of course, on experts. Read More
There are a number of observable trends in oil supplies and by extension prices, presently. I am going to discuss one of them in this article. A lack of capital investment in finding new supplies of oil and gas. A favorite analogy of mine comes to mind, the ship is nearing the dock. In nautical parlance that means the time for course corrections is at an end. So we shall see if that is the case for oil. The massive "ship" that is world oil demand is on an unalterable collision with supplies that will have profound implications for consumers. This key metric reveals what the future is likely to hold for our energy security as the world continues to recover from the virus to those who will listen. The level of drilling and by extension capital investment is insufficient and has been for a number of years to sustain oil production at current levels. It's no secret that even with the lower break-even costs for new projects thanks to cost-cutting by the industry the last few years, oil extraction is a capital-intensive business. Read More
Ironically, the wave of ESG investing in global energy markets may lead to much higher oil prices as a serious lack of capital expenditure on new fossil fuels dries up just as demand for crude continues to grow
Pressure from investors, tighter emissions regulation from governments, and public protests against their business have become more or less the new normal for oil companies. What the world—or at least the most affluent parts of it—seem to want from the oil industry is to stop being the oil industry. Read More
A car that sports upward of 1,000 horsepower and speeds of up to 300 miles per hour is difficult to square with sustainability. Such cars are normally major gas guzzlers. But not Swedish Koeniggseg. The company, which makes about 30 cars annually that sell for a couple of million each, recently hired a former Tesla executive to help it transform into a mass car manufacturer—a mass car manufacturer of vehicles that use the emissions of volcanoes as a way to moderate their carbon footprint.
Molten salt nuclear reactors on floating barges, mass-produced in their thousands and deployed super-quickly across the globe: that's the plan for Denmark's Seaborg Technologies
Copenhagen startup Seaborg Technologies has raised an eight-figure sum of Euros to start building a fascinating new type of cheap, portable, flexible and super-safe nuclear reactor. The size of a shipping container, these Compact Molten Salt Reactors will be rapidly mass-manufactured in their thousands, then placed on floating barges to be deployed worldwide – on timelines that will smash paradigms in the energy industry. Read More
China will stop subsidizing new solar farm projects, distributed solar projects for commercial users, and onshore wind farms as soon as this year, Reuters reported, citing the central planning authority of the country.
The change will enter into effect on August 1 and is a departure from the course set late last year. The country’s finance ministry had previously committed to granting 57 percent more subsidies to solar power projects this year, although it did slash subsidies for wind power. Read More
The most fundamental laws of economics, the ones that have stood the test of time over a millennium, have not been suspended. Explosive growth in debt primarily financed by central banks is likely to lead to higher inflation. Combined with debt, the reopening of the economy will deliver a one-two punch to rising inflation. Commodities have historically been a good bet during inflationary periods. This assumption makes sense because for prices to grow, the costs of commodities that feed into the various goods and services of the economy should increase too. Whether energy, metals, agricultural goods, or other commodities, most tend to rise during times of high inflation. Read More
No matter where you are on Earth, you are situated right on top of a potential clean energy production hub. This is the argument at the heart of the push for expanding geothermal energy, a renewable and carbon neutral form of energy production that relies upon the heat naturally produced under the ground to create turbine-turning steam or to pump straight into residences as well as commercial buildings. Read More
Your energy most likely comes from a monopolized power grid. Monopolies, in economic theory, are patently bad for a market, its consumers, and everybody except the one doing the monopolizing. But in the case of electric utilities, a natural monopoly, it’s not quite that simple. Defenders of monopolies in the case of electricity actually have some solid ground to stand on. But so do the detractors. Read More
A single Windcatcher floating offshore grid could power 80,000 European homes at grid-parity prices
Norway's Wind Catching Systems (WCS) has made a spectacular debut with a colossal floating wind turbine array it says can generate five times the annual energy of the world's biggest single turbines – while reducing costs enough to be immediately competitive with grid prices. Read More
Back in April I published an article titled ‘Globalists Will Need Another Crisis In America As Their Reset Agenda Fails’. In it I noted an odd trend which many of us in the liberty media have become aware of over the years – Almost every major man-made catastrophe in the US and in many other parts of the world in the past couple decades has been preceded by a government or globalist “exercise”. These exercises and war games tend to mimic the exact disaster that would eventually strike the public only days or weeks later. Sometimes the mock disaster exercises and the real events happen at the same time. Read More
Could black holes be the key to the future of our energy production? Some scientists think so. And the secret to harvesting their energy lies in gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful transient objects in the known universe. These bursts, which are thought to be the product of the formation of a black hole, are the strongest and brightest explosions in existence. In the few finite seconds that one of these bursts lasts, they can create as much energy as our solar system’s sun will produce during the entirety of its 10-billion-year lifespan. Read More
06.04.21- Greater than Gold, Sweeter than Silver
Every few years I come across a company with 10-20 bagger potential. This company covered today will do that.
And possibly much more.
I read recently that to supply enough batteries to store a single day’s requirement of electricity in the US would require five hundred battery plants the size of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. Currently the Gigafactory produces more batteries than all the combined production of every other automobile manufacturing company in the world. Read More
If there is one thing everyone knows about the tiny northern nation of Iceland, it is that it has plentiful geothermal resources. Europe's northernmost independent state satisfies a solid portion of its energy needs with local renewable geothermal power. And these resources could now help Iceland become the world's first fully green hydrogen economy.Geothermal, according to Iceland's National Energy Authority, accounts for a quarter of the country's power generation and as much as 66 percent of Iceland's total primary energy use. Geothermal is also used to heat 90 percent of Icelandic households. Read More
Scientists in South Korea have made a breakthrough in battery research that could help us bust through a key bottleneck in energy storage. The team's advance overcomes a technical issue that has held back highly promising lithium-metal battery architecture and could pave the way for batteries with as much as 10 times the capacity of today's devices. The reason lithium-metal batteries hold so much promise is because of the excellent energy density of pure lithium metal. Scientists hope to swap out the graphite used for the anode in today's lithium batteries for this "dream material," though this comes with some complicated problems to solve. Read More
Chinese media have reported that researchers working on a nuclear fusion project have succeeded in holding plasma of 120 million degrees Celsius for close to two minutes.
Chinese daily Global Times reports that the so-called artificial sun as the Chinese nuclear fusion project is known also succeeded in maintaining plasma at 160 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds.
These times, while not very long in absolute terms, are records in the quest for nuclear fusion. The next step would be to maintain these temperatures for as long as a week, according to a physics professor from the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen. Read More
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