Liquid batteries, giant lasers, and vast new reserves of natural gas highlight the fundamental energy advances of the past 12 months.
With many renewable energy companies facing hard financial times (“Weeding Out Solar Companies“), a lot of the big energy news this year was coming out of Washington, DC, with massive federal stimulus funding for batteries and renewable energy and programs such as Energy Frontier Research Centers and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (“A Year of Stimulus for High Tech“).
But there was still plenty of action outside the beltway, both in the United States and around the world. One of the most dramatic developments (“Natural Gas Changes the Energy Map“) was the rush to exploit a vast new resource; new drilling technologies have made it possible to economically recover natural gas from shale deposits scattered throughout the country, including in Texas and parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Advances in drilling technology have increased available natural gas by 39 percent, according to an estimate released in June. The relatively clean-burning fuel could cut greenhouse gas emissions by becoming a substitute for coal. Natural gas might even provide an alternative to petroleum in transportation, especially for buses and taxis–if only policymakers could take advantage of the new opportunity.
Meanwhile a number of technologies promise to cut down on emissions from coal plants. Feeding heat from the sun into coal plants could at once increase the amount of power that can be generated from a given amount of coal and reduce the cost of solar power (“Mixing Solar with Coal to Cut Costs“). And technology for capturing carbon dioxide (“Scrubbing CO2 Cheaply“) and storing it (“An Ocean Trap for Carbon Dioxide“) is finally emerging from the lab and small-scale projects into larger demonstrations at power plants, even while researchers explore potentially cheaper carbon-capture techniques (“Using Rust to Capture CO2 from Coal Plants“).
This year was also the year of the smart grid, as numerous test projects for improving the reliability of the grid and enabling the use of large amounts of renewable energy got underway (“Technology Overview: Intelligent Electricity“). The smart grid will be enabled by key advances, such as superconductors for high-energy transmission lines (“Superconductors to Wire a Smarter Grid“) and smart networks being developed by companies such as GE (“Q&A: Mark Little, Head of GE Global Research“).
The Latest on: Energy
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The Latest on: Energy
- VW warns of energy disruption at plants while ramping up Porsche IPO planson June 22, 2022 at 10:50 am
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said the automaker is having to use coal instead of natural gas at the on-site power plants that provide energy to its factories in Germany.
- Chesapeake Energy sees 10% oilfield inflation in 2023 compared to 2022on June 22, 2022 at 9:31 am
Shale producer Chesapeake Energy is anticipating roughly 10% oilfield inflation in 2023 compared with the current year, Chief Executive Officer Nick Dell'Osso said on Wednesday at a conference in New ...
- Why a gas tax holiday is actually ‘bullish energy prices’on June 22, 2022 at 9:31 am
Basic economics indicates President Joe Biden's proposed gas-tax holiday would end up lifting energy prices, says the top commodities economist at ...
- US LNG exporters look to Europe as energy crisis mountson June 22, 2022 at 9:09 am
US liquefied natural gas exporters announced a spate of deals on Wednesday to beef up supplies to Europe as it suffers a mounting energy crisis. Cheniere, the biggest American exporter, said it had ...
- Pump up the volume: Cornish village to pilot communal grid for green energyon June 22, 2022 at 7:10 am
Retired engineer’s efforts propel Stithians towards multimillion-pound project to link homes to underground low-carbon system ...
- Clean energy investment lags as oil and gas prices soar.on June 22, 2022 at 5:43 am
The head of the International Energy Agency said high prices for fossil fuels will probably persist for years.
- A Big Step Toward Fusion Energy Is Hailed by a Seattle Start-Upon June 22, 2022 at 2:00 am
Zap Energy said its experimental reactor core was ready for a milestone test. Skeptics routinely question whether the technology is currently possible.
- Enphase Energy Stock: A Ray of Light in the Solar Sectoron June 22, 2022 at 1:56 am
C alifornia-headquartered Enphase Energy manufactures and sells home solar energy solutions, including microinverters. I am bullish on the stock. The alternative energy movement w ...
- Energy Investments Aren’t Enough to Bring Down Prices, IEA Sayson June 22, 2022 at 1:07 am
Investment in energy supplies, including clean energy, should jump this year, energy watchdog says. But it won’t be enough to tame prices.
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