MIT May Have Just Given Us the “Holy Grail” of Battery Breakthroughs

by | published October 19th, 2017

I won a science fair at age 12 by making a “perpetual motion” machine. It really didn’t do very much, but was kind of cool.

It used ions in a closed container, running them through a charged screen between magnets. Since the charge was constantly changing, the ions repeatedly moved between the magnets.

By putting a simple drive shaft mechanism through the center, I could light a (very) low-wattage bulb… or at least make it flicker.

In fact, I called it a "flicker tickler." OK, remember, I was only 12.

Last week, my experiment was brought back to mind by the release of an intriguing report.

We may be looking at a huge advance in energy technology here.

See, the continued improvements in renewable energy sources like solar and wind have ushered in a serious conversation about what the energy balance will look like in the future.

This isn’t about any one "silver bullet" that will replace all energy sources. It’s not even about the death of hydrocarbons.

It’s about a single technology that will make energy sources – wind, solar, oil, gas, etc. – interchangeable…

This New Oil Crisis Could Set the Middle East on Fire

by | published October 18th, 2017

After over 40 years in the energy business, more than two decades of that with a parallel career in intelligence, I regularly witness the impact of global developments on the energy markets.

So it’s hardly surprising that I often address geopolitical events here in Oil & Energy Investor.

Currently, situations in Latin America (Venezuela), Asia (the South China Sea crisis), and Africa (ongoing civil conflict in Libya and Nigeria) show how widespread the geopolitical impact is on energy prices and availability.

Each one either is, or could easily, spike oil price volatility.

But the instability in a different region remains the biggest single factor in how the two sectors interact…

The Middle East.   

There, two significant events unfolded over the past week. Each is certain to have an impact on how crude oil trades in the near-term.

The curious de-certification of JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more popularly known as the “Iranian nuclear accord”), by President Trump, was followed in short order by the ominous hostilities between Iraq and Kurdistan over the status of the city and region of Kirkuk.

Both impact the northern Persian Gulf, already a region with a short fuse.

The toppling of Raqqa, the self-styled ISIS capital, may be underway in Syria, but the ongoing cross-border disagreements have already spread elsewhere.

And they could set the whole region on fire…