Energy dominated the news this week with President Biden suspending new oil and gas drilling permits on federal lands and cutting traditional fossil fuel subsidies via executive order on Wednesday, effective immediately. Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to the move by vowing to fight President Biden by launching legal challenges to the orders; citing claims that they will undercut Texas energy production, the largest U.S. oil and gas producing state in the country.
The Biden Administration also announced a push for electric vehicles this week, including unveiling plans to replace the government’s vehicle fleet with electric vehicles assembled in the U.S.
Amid all of the political chaos, oil edged up today but remained rangebound as demand concerns persist. Although a new Reuters poll showed that oil is set for a slow recovery, predicting that prices will hover around current levels for most of this year and recover towards the end of 2021, as COVID-19 vaccines help demand improve.
With another busy energy week behind us, be sure to check out our five favorite stories and stay current on all things energy.
5Coming soon! A new supercomputer that can study climate, weather, wildfires and solar flares
A new supercomputer is set to be installed this year that will rank among the world’s 25 fastest. E&E News reports that the machine, commissioned by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, will help study phenomena including climate, weather, wildfires and solar flares.
4Energy kite concept to generate wind energy soon
A German company recently announced it will begin generating wind energy via its energy kite concept as soon as this year. Greentech Media reports that beginning in 2021, a large kite will be taking to the skies on the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius to generate electricity from high-altitude winds.
3Solar powered smartphones?
South Korean scientists have discovered a way to make working transparent solar panels, as opposed to the near-transparent solar cells that are currently available. Mashable reports that the advancement of totally transparent solar panels opens a world of new applications for the technology, including powering our smartphones.
2Abandoned offshore rigs create remarkable ecosystems beneath the surface
It’s no surprise that offshore oil and gas platforms eventually become defunct once they’ve drained the reservoir of fossil fuels from below their surface. But what may come as a surprise to many is that these defunct rigs provide an ideal skeleton for coral reefs, and many are swarming with life beneath the surface. The BBC explains how converting oil rigs into reefs have benefitted our marine ecosystems.
1Solar Energy launches into space with satellite reflectors
Space-based solar power could become a reality with mirror-life solar reflectors installed onto satellites. Power Technology reports that these satellites, once in orbit, could concentrate energy from the sun onto solar panels, which in turn will convert the energy into electromagnetic radiation and beam it back to Earth with an antenna.