Everyone’s talking this week about President Biden’s speech to Congress Wednesday night, including a focus on two big themes – energy and climate. Biden also discussed energy jobs and competing with China.
Meanwhile, oil prices fell from six-week highs today after weak Japanese crude import data was released there were worries about fuel demand in India, where COVID-19 infections have risen. Fuel demand worldwide lately has been mixed, with consumption rising in the United States and China, while other nations are still grappling with pandemic lockdowns.
Speaking of climate issues, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading 19 states seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of the scope of EPA’s authority over greenhouse gases. This follows a recent ruling that struck down a Trump-era rule on power plant CO2 emissions.
Also, at the Supreme Court, this week the high court heard oral arguments on PennEast Pipeline’s right-of-way case, which is an important case for ensuring consumers have access to affordable, environmentally sound energy in the future.
With so much energy news happening this week, be sure to check out our five favorite stories as you kick off your weekend!
5Spain installs first solar energy pavement
Barcelona just installed Spain’s first photovoltaic pavement, which will generate 7,560kWh a year. The Guardian reports the installation comes as the city strives to meet their goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
4“Solar mountain” art installation is here to stay
Burning Man, the annual festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, just gained a new permanent art installation: Solar Mountain. According to My Modern Met, the structure is made of 182 solar panels of 300-watt capacity and will produce an estimated 318,645 kWh every year.
3New venture seeks to convert solid waste into green hydrogen to fuel vehicles
A new joint venture will convert mixed and multiple organic wastes, including solid waste, food waste, medical and paper into renewable hydrogen to fuel zero-emission commercial vehicles. Waste 360 explains that this new patented process is one of the only combustion-free methods of waste-to-hydrogen processes in the world.
2Scientists recreate energy of the sun in California lab
Scientists in California have reached a new milestone in their quest to re-create nuclear fusion on Earth. CNBC reports that they were able to produce stable plasma at more than 50 million degrees Celsius with their Field Reversed Configuration machine, also known as Norman.
1Underwater manta kites harvest energy from moving water
Developers have created a manta-inspired underwater kite generator that can harvest energy from moving water. IEEE Spectrum explains that the system is targeting an average output of around 20kW per kite, which is enough to power a dozen homes.