Forbes magazine reports that the United States sits on the cusp of being the largest energy producer in the world, and will likely surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia in annual oil production by next year. Some experts are even predicting that the U.S. will become "energy independent" within twenty years.
That date may have just been moved forward. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Donald Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry, has emerged as a major proponent of liquid batteries. Sadoway is the co-founder of Ambri, a company that has already developed a prototype liquid battery that could potentially go live in West Texas as soon as this year, enabling reliable energy storage of renewables to provide greater service reliability.
Also at MIT, Alexander Slocum, a professor of mechanical engineering, recently spoke about new drilling techniques that could tap fossil fuels as far down as ten kilometers under the surface. This would represent a vast improvement in drilling depths, which currently average two kilometers. Revolutions in drill bit technology and techniques have made this possible, but the costs and risks of such extensive drilling are not yet known.
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