Following Saudi Arabia’s recent pledge to cut output and a global stocks rally as investors began looking past rising coronavirus cases, oil prices hit an 11-month high. These gains occurred as Congress certified Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election and Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won Georgia’s runoff races, giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

As oil hit this milestone, it was also reported that the U.S. didn’t import any Saudi crude last week for the first time in 35 years. This welcome news comes when only recently the country threatened to upset the American energy industry by adding exports into a market already devastated by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, record cold temperatures in China significantly increased power demand and strained the world’s largest energy consumer. Several provincial grid systems in northern China saw peak power load hitting historic highs this week and China’s industrial belt had a power crunch in a December cold snap.

While most Americans are experiencing wintry weather and colder temperatures this month, the good news is that it helps energy prices. As you are enjoying the winter season and staying warm this weekend, you can learn more about energy-saving tips and check out our five favorite stories!

Using land for solar photovoltaic power and agriculture

Researchers are looking at how solar photovoltaic power and agriculture or agrivoltaics may be able to help to grow more food, create more energy, and lower water demand and carbon emissions. PV Magazine shared how this new combination could provide 20% of total electricity generation in the United States.

4Looking at tiny nuclear reactors

There is new buzz about how tiny nuclear reactors may be able to help save American energy. Popular Mechanics breaks how they can hold 10 percent of the power of a full-size nuclear plant in just 1 percent of the space.


Department of Energy announces funding for natural gas pipeline retrofitting projects

The US Department of Energy has announced US$33 million in funding for 10 projects to help “develop natural gas transmission pipeline retrofitting technology to rehabilitate existing cast iron and bare steel pipes by creating new, robust pipes inside of old ones.” World Pipelines reports on how this funding will help modernize and build out infrastructure to safely and efficiently bring natural gas and oil to market.

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2Scientists develop jet fuel from carbon dioxide

Researchers have found a way to make jet fuel from carbon dioxide by reverse engineering the chemical reactions that transform fossil fuels into CO2. AV Web explains how this process could use the current carbon infrastructure for sustainable development.

1The future: Photovoltaic cells that could coat your curtains

Scientists are studying how to develop and improve on the perovskite photovoltaic cells over a decade ago, by making them thin and transparent enough to coat machines and everyday objects such as electric vehicles, smartphones, clothes and curtains. Nikkei uncovers how this new type of solar cell could replace the existing crystalline silicon cells in today’s photovoltaic market.