Everyone was talking today about President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden clashing last night at their final debate over energy policy and how reform would impact American workers.
This debate followed recent headlines show how Biden’s pledge to return to diplomacy with OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela could increase chances of a return of these foreign oil exports. And as everyone is looking at the energy markets, oil prices increased a bit on Thursday, boosted by the possibility of an economic stimulus package, but didn’t fully recover from recent losses caused by higher U.S. gasoline inventories and decreased demand as coronavirus cases soar.
Interestingly, there was also news about how U.S. exports of natural gas to Mexico, almost all of which are transported by pipeline, have continued to increase in 2020. Mexico has been the largest destination for U.S. natural gas exports since surpassing Canada in 2015.
After all of this week’s interesting global energy news, here are five consumer stories to help get you ready for the weekend.
5In 2019, the U.S. consumed a record amount of renewable energy
In 2019, consumption of renewable energy in the United States grew for the fourth year in a row. The U.S. Energy Information Administration found that wood and waste energy from sources like wood pellets and landfill waste made up nearly a quarter of renewable energy used.
4DOE approves up to $1.4B to test 12-module NuScale reactor
The Department of Energy approved a multi-year cost share award of up to $1.4 billion to help demonstrate a 12-module NuScale reactor at Idaho National Laboratory. Utility Dive details how the DOE expects construction of the NuScale test reactor to begin at Idaho National Laboratory in December 2025, with the first power module operating by 2029.
3The future of deep water wind
In windy Scotland, a project generates enough electricity for more than 20,000 homes and is the first wind energy array that floats on the sea’s surface rather than being dug into the ocean bed. BBC describes the how this project with giant masts and turbines sitting in buoyant concrete-and-steel keels that enable them to stand upright on the water, has enormous potential for the future.
2New solar concentrator material on textiles can harness solar energy
Scientists designed a material with functions similar to a luminescent solar concentrator and could have possible applications in textiles. Azom shares how a new polymer applied to T-shirts, jackets, and other textile fibers, could soon serve as a solar collector and a mobile energy supply.
11.8 million households to use wood as a primary heating fuel
About 1.8 million households will use cord wood or wood pellets as their primarily residential spacing heating fuel this winter. Biomass Magazine highlights how the U.S. Energy Information Administration Winter Fuels Outlook explains that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected energy price and consumption patterns this year, such as the additional people working and attending school from home that will increase demand for space heating.