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Energy

Airbnb and SolarCity provide incentives for hosts to install solar systems

Airbnb partnered with SolarCity to offer financial incentives for hosts that install a solar system in their properties being rented. Hosts that install a solar energy system from SolarCity will receive a $1,000 cash back from the company. The offer is valid until the end of March next year, after which the incentive will drop to $750 for the rest of 2017. Homeowners with solar panels already installed and want to join Airbnb can also receive a $100 gift card from the company. The decision may appeal to travelers, particularly Millennials, interested in staying at an environment-friendly home. It could also help Airbnb establish itself as an environment-friendly company. The company published a study that says home sharing saves the environment billions of liters of water, tons of waste and large amounts of energy.

Key Takeaway: 

Airbnb and SolarCity have partnered together to offer incentives for hosts to purchase a solar system from SolarCity, which can help to position Airbnb as a sustainable company as well as attract Milennial renters that are interested in environment-friendly homes.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

OPEC countries to reduce oil production up to 700,000 barrels a day

Last Wednesday, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to reduce their daily production levels from an average of 33.2 million barrels in August to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels later in the year. Each OPEC member's production limits will be decided after a meeting on November 30. Oil prices saw a rise of more than 6% on the news before tumbling again to $50 as of Brent trading Friday. Many experts see the cut in production as not enough to arrest the decline in oil's price caused by a global supply gut and competition with natural gas producers. Most also do not see a rebalancing of supply and demand until the middle of 2017. Nigeria, Libya and Iran will still be allowed to produce at maximum levels while Russia may not intend to cut its production.

Key Takeaway: 

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) say it will cut its production of oil between 200,000 to 700,000 barrels a day at the end of 2016, though the decision may not be enough to affect the price of oil in the long term due to oversupply and competition with natural gas producers.

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Publication Date: 
October 3, 2016

Paris Agreement expected to take effect after EU's approval

EU member states gave their approval to officially join the Paris Agreement, the new climate deal wherein countries pledge to reduce their emissions to counteract climate change. Once the EU ratification papers are submitted to the UN on Wednesday, the deal is expected to take into effect. So far, seven EU members have ratified the Paris Agreement with others expected to follow. This brings the total to 68 nations, representing 57% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, embracing the new climate deal. Europe has pledged to reduce its carbon output by 40% of 1990 levels by 2030. US, China and India have already formalized their participation. Other countries that could also submit their formal approval of the new climate deal include Canada and Japan.

Key Takeaway: 

With the 28 member states of the European Union informally approving the new climate deal, the Paris Agreement is expected to take effect soon on Wednesday; 68 nations have so far ratified the agreement, representing 57% of the world's emissions.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 3, 2016

Report: More oil firms are investing in Industrial IoT

According to a Cisco report, more oil and gas companies are making investments in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), collecting terabytes of data a day while having yet to realize the potential of their data. Digitization in the industry could provide real-time access to data coming from cameras, sensors or satellites and enable faster and richer insights which can improve decision making, safety and production, while at the same time preventing potential disasters and reducing losses. Other benefits include decreased errors, cybersecurity and agile development. Cisco also says IIoT can increase profits by 11% and GDP by 8%. In a down market when companies are tempted to slash costs and resources, making the most efficient use of current oil rigs, for example, and raising the productivity of people and information at every stage of the operation can make a difference in the long term.

Key Takeaway: 

Cisco's new report found that more companies in the oil and gas industry are invested in the Industrial Internet of Things where data from assets can be used to improve decision-making, enhance safety and increase efficiency, productivity and profits.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 29, 2016

Laser process makes graphene a thousand times conductive

Researchers at Iowa State University developed a laser technology that treats inkjet-printed graphene circuits, making them more electrically conductive by at least a thousand times. Treated graphene can be used in low cost electronic applications such as chemical and biological sensors, energy storage systems, electrical conducting components and paper-based electronics. The laser treatment can also pave the way for commercialization and mass production of graphene. The team's work is published in the journal Nanoscale.

Key Takeaway: 

A new laser treatment developed by a team at Iowa State produces graphene that is a thousand times more conductive, enabling their use in sensors, energy storage, electric components and paper-based electronics.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 19, 2016

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