Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have devised a low-cost, scalable approach to developing all-solid-state batteries, improving prospects for scaling up the technology for widespread use in electric vehicles, communications and other industrial applications. Described in a paper in the journal Chemistry of Materials, the approach involves substituting germanium in the solid electrolyte for two more readily available elements: tin and silicon.

Israeli startup company, Eviation, plans to build an all-electric short-haul 9-passenger airliner capable of flights up to 600 miles and have it flying by 2020.

Global automakers are urging China to delay and soften planned quotas for sales of electric and hybrid cars, saying its proposals will be impossible to meet and would severely disrupt their businesses. Keen to combat air pollution, China is planning to set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least 20% of Chinese automobile sales by 2025, with a staggered system of quotas beginning in 2018. The strict new rules include harsh penalties for non-compliance, such as the cancellation of licenses to sell non- electric cars in China. Auto makers from the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea have written the Chinese government saying: “The proposed rules’ ambitious enforcement date is not possible to meet. At a minimum, the mandate needs to be delayed a year and include additional flexibility.”

US crude oil production has increased by nearly 500,000 barrels per day since the end of 2016 to 9.3 million b/d. Most of this increase has been shale oil, although there has been a slow and steady rise in off shore production. Total US oil production is expected to reach 9.9 million barrels per day next year, the highest level ever if forecasts are accurate.

Since OPEC’s (and Russia’s) crude oil production cut began in January increased production from Canada, the US, Nigeria, and Libya have largely offset the 1.8 million barrels per day reduction in production that is supposed to be taking place. Experts are now doubting whether some of the crude oil producers have found ways around the cut. Several countries surged their production above normal so that could start cutting from an abnormally high base. Others have increased exports in the last six months by drawing on oil reserves. A few others, such as Iraq and Iran, may simply be cheating on their production figures. Without deeper cuts, most observers believe the production cut will not achieve its objective of raising world oil prices.

Talos Energy confirmed a discovery at the Zama-1 exploration well offshore Mexico. Initial estimates place the reserve potential at between 1.4 billion and 2 billion barrels of crude oil.

The US looks to become the world’s second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the end of 2022, just behind Australia and ahead of Qatar, the International Energy Agency said. Overall, global LNG export capacity would reach 650 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year by the end of 2022, compared to less than 452 bcm a year in 2016.

Coal is projected to provide the largest share of US power generation in 2017, retaking the crown from natural gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The agency projects coal will generate 31.3% of the US’ electricity in 2017 compared with 31.1% for natural gas.



with h/t Tom Whipple

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