Gas Pipeline Linking Europe and Ukraine to Run at Full Load This Summer
The Vojany pipeline from Slovakia has been booked to start running at full capacity in September to provide vital fuel supply to Ukraine with the prospect of no shipments from Russia. Previously idled for 15 years, the Vojany pipeline is expected to ship 10 billion cubic meters a year, or about 20 percent of Ukraine’s needs. Together with smaller pipelines from Hungary and Poland, Ukraine can import about 16.5 billion cubic meters a year from the European Union, which is indeed vital this winter after Russia stopped exporting gas last month in a dispute over unpaid bills.
Solar Loans Packaged With Maintenance Deals Now Offered
Mosaic Inc., operator of an online financing platform for solar panels, is venturing with Enphase Energy Inc. to package its loans with maintenance deals, in hopes that homeowners will opt more to buy than lease if they are not worried about maintaining the solar set-up. Mosaic expects to finance about $100 million worth of systems in conjunction with Enphase that will be installed in the state of California. Homeowners considering panels may apply for loans through Mosaic’s website to acquire systems with little or no money down. Many get 20-year loans at rates beginning at 5 percent.
Fracking Fears in Oklahoma Rises Due to Frequent Tremors
It is no secret that seismic activity growth alongside oil production in fracking states had sparked a series of studies tying quakes to the drilling method. So far this year, Oklahoma experienced more than twice the number of earthquakes as California, making it the most seismically active state in the country. In 2003, Oklahoma was ranked 17th for recorded tremors. The spike reinforces concerns that fracturing procedures, such as injecting vast amounts of wastewater back into the ground, heavily contributes to seismic activity. The state is currently the fifth largest oil producer in the country with its 350,000 barrel-a-day output.
USC Lab Creates ‘Natural’ Battery
Scientists at the University of Southern California managed to create a battery using organic compounds that can be found in nature. USC researchers use quinines, molecules that are used by nature for energy transfer. Currently, flow batteries use expensive metals such as Vanadium, using quinones should drive down manufacturing costs because the molecules are derived from naturally occurring hydrocarbons. Based on the familiar redox flow design, the battery can use water as an electrolyte.