As the U.S. Senate approved a budget resolution for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, oil prices hit their highest level in a year on Friday, closing in on $60 a barrel – attributed to the anticipation of economic revival and supply curbs by OPEC+. In fact, this week the Energy Information Administration announced that it expects US crude oil production to break its 2019 record of 12.25 million barrels per day in 2023 and reach its highest point in 2034.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s Inaugural Day decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline has been reported in the media this week from the oil and gas workers’ perspective, as well as the hotel, restaurant and small businesses in the area that were relying on the economic activity for them and their communities.
The Biden Administration also acted this week to resume the Vineyard Wind review process, which industry was hoping would indicate that they intend to move forward on a number of projects that have been waiting for their reviews to commence. These new approvals are part of a trend many are seeing where offshore wind turbines are receiving political support globally as nations look at reducing carbon emissions, as well as new competition.
With this busy energy news week behind us, be sure to check out our five favorite stories and stay current on all things energy this weekend!
5See-through wood could replace glass windows
Researchers have discovered a new method of making transparent wood that is more sustainable than a previous, more chemically based process, and 50% stronger, too. Fast Company reports the material could be used as windows, as wood buildings take less energy to heat and cool.
4A battery that never needs to be changed could be in our future
A company claims to have created a battery that never needs to be charged. FOX 2 Now reports that the technology uses nuclear waste material covered with manmade diamonds to generate and capture energetic particles as the nuclear material decays.
3Storing hydrogen energy in grey goop?
Researchers have presented a new way to store hydrogen by using a magnesium-based “powerpaste” which stores it at 10 times the density of a lithium battery and can be stored at atmospheric pressure. New Atlas reports the grey goop can be stored in cartridges, making refueling as quick and easy as replacing the cartridge with a full one at a service station.
2New concept proposes using “inverted skyscrapers” to mine for combustible ice deep within our oceans
Designers are have finished a conceptual design of a water-scraper that could mine for combustible ice deep within our oceans, and also pick up plastic waste on the ocean’s surface and convert it to 3D printing materials. Yanko Design explains that the tower would store energy that would then be collected by cargo ships and brought back to cities.
1Learning about the world’s first solar-made aluminum
Two companies have teamed up to produce the world’s first aluminum produced using solar-power. Bloomberg Green reports that the aluminum maker will supply 42,000 metric tons per year of the aluminum to BMW, almost half of the needs of BMW’s Munich plant.