Southern England Holds Billions of Barrels of Shale Oil
The Weald basin, covering counties south of London may have as much as 8.6 billion barrels of oil, according to a report by the British Geological Survey. The report did not say how much of it could be extracted profitably. The U.K.’s current extractable oil reserves are 3.1 billion barrels, according to data from BP Plc. The report is likely to add to the controversy about drilling for shale oil and gas using hydraulic fracturing, which opponents say is damaging to the environment.
Tesla Motors Now California’s Largest Auto-Industry Employer
Tesla Motors is now the biggest auto-industry employer in California – employing more than 6000 people within the state, with another 500 projected to be added before the end o the year. This is an impressive accomplishment considering how young the company is. Even more impressive is when you consider the fact that Toyota has substantial operations in the state as well- currently employing around 5,300. Tesla’s workforce is sure to grow significantly in the next few years once its ambitious Gigafactories come into fruition.
Panasonic Expects to be Gigafactory’s Sole Battery Manufacturer
Panasonic Corp, according to Reuters, is expecting that they will be Tesla’s sole battery manufacturer at the billion-dollar gigafactory. Panasonic has long been Tesla’s main battery partner. The company is planning to spend around $275 million on battery production this year, about twice its budget last year, primarily because of growing demand from Tesla. Panasonic and Tesla are reportedly in talks about the construction plans, and Panasonic is not concerned about any competing battery manufacturer getting a foot in.
Scientists Find New Material for Flat Semiconductors
Researchers around the world have been toiling to harness the properties of graphene. However, graphene lacks one important quality that would make it even more useful: a property called bandgap, which is essential for making computer chips and solar cells. Now, researchers at Harvard University and MIT have found a new material that is similar to graphene but naturally has usable bandgap. The new material is called Ni3(HITP)2. It is a combination of nickel and an organic compound called HITP. The breakthrough material is found to have excellent electrical conductivity and experts believe that the discovery represents a major advancement in the synthetic design of novel semiconductor materials.