South Sudan is rich in oil, but infrastructure challenges and rising violence could undermine economic hopes for a troubled region, Graeber writes. The country gained independence in 2011, but border issues, ethnic fighting and disputes over oil have led to violence in South Sudan.
As natural gas production soars at the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania may be the second-biggest gas-producing US state by the end of the year, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
When Royal Dutch Shell pulled the plug on its US gas-to-liquids project recently, the company said it was because it saw opportunities elsewhere. But abandoning the gas-to-liquids plant speaks much more loudly about shale gas than what Shell is saying in public, Cobb writes.
Tesla Motors has plans to release a Model E – 'E' for everyone – sometime in 2015. With a price estimated to be around $35,000, the Tesla Motors Model E would in theory offer the average American a long-range electric car for half the price of the current Model S.
The US Department of Energy has awarded up to $226 million to support the development of small modular nuclear reactors. Small nuclear reactors can be constructed in factories and shipped to site, cutting costs and avoiding construction delays, but their benefits remain unproven.
Mexican legislators have passed a reform ending the 75-year state grip on the energy sector in overwhelming fashion. The move is aimed at reversing the decline of Mexico's oil output and attracting outside investment into its considerable natural resources.
Cleantech industry-watchers should take heart, Kachan writes. A quiet recovery is already underway in cleantech, a process that should gain even more momentum through 2014.
The budget deal working its way through Congress includes provisions that will open up vast new territories in the western Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling. The budget deal allows for the development of oil and gas reserves that cross national boundaries, and sets up a framework for their joint development.
Changing energy portfolios are factoring into oil supply and demand equations in the future. The potential for Iran to return to oil markets could particularly shake up OPEC and the global outlook.
Phillips 66 and green crude oil pioneer Sapphire Energy, Inc., have agreed to work together to develop crude oil derived from algae to the commercial level. The project offers the promise of a renewable form of domestic oil, but development will take decades.
Ukraine's recent natural gas deals show that Ukraine will continue to flirt with both East and West, Belinksi writes, and, most of all, move toward energy independence.
As the use of intermittent energy sources like sun and wind continues to rise, battery storage is increasingly entering the conversation about the nation's electrical grid. A new energy storage mandate in California is pushing the issue further.
Trouble for coal is playing out across the country, Cunningham writes, but the results will be particularly important in the Midwest, which will be ground zero for the fight over the changing electricity mix in the coming years.
Russia hopes to mimic the success of shale oil in the US with the development of its own hard-to-reach oil reserves. Russia holds the largest deposits of technically recoverable shale oil at around 75 billion barrels of oil.
The growth of the US solar energy industry is impressive, Calhoun and Morris write, but so-called 'soft costs' keep solar prices high in the US, compared to countries like Germany, a champion of solar development.