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World Energy Headlines

 

  • The International Energy Agency predicted that renewable energy will make up almost half of sub- Saharan Africa’s power generation growth by 2040. Solar energy will lead the growth in renewables, and geothermal will become the second-largest source of power supply in East Africa.
  • A study from the Union of Concerned Scientists (USC) found that America can nearly quadruple its renewable electricity in the next 15 years, reaching 23% by 2030. Though the Environmental Protection Agency has set the goal of 12% by 2030, seven states already exceeded the goal and another 17 have existing laws that require more renewable electricity than what the EPA requires.
  • The Indian government plans to hold the first global renewable energy investors summit next year. The summit would be an important step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target to improve the cumulative installed the renewable energy capacity to 100 GW over the next five years.
  • Industrial Technology Research Institute, Taiwan’s largest high-tech applied research institution, introduces High Efficiency Calcium Looping Technology (HECLOT). Using a cycling of calcination and carbonation method, the technology claims to capture up to 90% of CO2 and cost 40 times less than existing CO2 capture technology.
  • Morocco’s first solar energy plant will start operating in 2015. Aiming to raise renewable energy production to 42% of its total power supply mix by 2020, Morocco expects to build five new solar plants by the end of the decade with a combined production capacity of 2,000 megawatts and at an estimated cost of $9 billion.
  • To cater the needs of modernizing United Kingdom’s infrastructure, China is set to invest over $67.25 billion in the UK’s energy sector in the next 10 years, according to Pinsent Masons and the Centre of Economic and Business Research. This will be a significant boost to the UK economy.
  • Warburg Pincus LLC announced on October 27 that it raised $4 billion for its first energy-focused private equity fund, with a focus on energy exploration and production investment in North America and around the world.
  • South Africa has signed an intergovernmental nuclear energy co-operation agreement with France, as part of its long-term plan to secure a sustainable energy mix. With only one nuclear power station currently, South Africa plans to build more nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 9.6GW by 2030 as part of its Nuclear New Build program.
  • Four Nigerian companies- Ginphed Nigeria Limited, Quintas Renewable Energy Solutions, Sky Resources, and Topstep Nigeria - won the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge sponsored by General Electric (GE) and the United States- Africa Development Foundation (USADF) with each of the four companies receiving a grant of $100,000.
  • Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and his Armenian counterpart Yervand Zakharian announced that they agreed to launch the third energy transfer line between Iran and Armenia and construction of two hydroelectric power plants on both sides of the Aras River.
  • Iran aims to produce 5,000 megawatts of electricity with renewable energy sources in the next five years. The increasing investment in the renewable energy sector stimulated by the government’s incentives, which enjoys geographical and geological advantages to push forward the development of the energy sector.
  • GE has signed a contract with leading Turkish utility company ENKA to supply power generation equipment for a new 750MW combined-cycle plant that is under construction by Qaiwan Group in Iraq. GE’s turbines support more than 90% of the electricity generated in the Kurdistan region and this will be the fourth power project that GE is supporting in the region.
  • China and Russia agreed to start building the west route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline, which will provide 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year to China. Additionally, China National Petroleum Corp purchased a 10% share of Vankorneft, the upstream subsidiary of Russian oil giant Rosneft and operator of the lucrative Vankor oilfield.
  • India’s minister for coal, power, and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, announced a $100 billion investment in the renewable energy sector over the next few years. He also said that the government has increased the solar power capacity addition target to 100GW by 2019 compared to the previous 22GW installed capacity target by 2022.
  • Global energy has become a central issue at G20 Summit for the first time, and leaders agreed that the long-term stability of energy markets is critical in order to accomplish goals set by the G20 as well as economic growth.
  • Nanotechnology could dramatically improve energy storage for electronics, cars, and buildings, according to University of Maryland researchers. These nanosize batteries are 80,000 times thinner than a human hair, and can be fully charged in 12 minutes and recharged thousands of times.
  • The International Energy Agency calls for greater integration and cooperation of the European Union to shift to renewable energy and ensure energy security throughout Europe. A potential Energy Union across Europe is needed and transformative steps may include pan-continental agreement on reforming the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and better investment in clean energy.
  • China’s Energy Development Strategy Action Plan has set up ambitious goals for the period 2014 to 2020; 1) cap the energy usage annual growth at 3.5% or less, 3) increase the percentage of the total energy mix supplied by clean energy to 15% and 3) produce 85% of total energy used by 2020.
  • Considering new carbon reduction targets to be announced by the climate conference in Paris next year, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he has “no theological objection” to nuclear energy. Nuclear energy operation is allowed in Australia, but will not receive government subsidies.
  • Competition is heating among world’s top energy companies, including BP, Total, CNOOC, Statoil, Petrobras, Shell, and Exxon Mobile, for oil and gas exploration after Tanzania’s newfound oil and gas reserves, 53.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable natural gas resources.
  • Despite falling international crude oil prices and weak domestic energy demand, the Chinese government has called for construction of oil and gas infrastructure, such as pipelines and storage facilities, to be accelerated, and investment in shale gas to be increased.
  • Amid its existing shortage of fuel and fighting with Russian- backed rebels in the east, a nuclear accident at Zaporizhzhya, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, on November 28, has added to Ukraine’s energy vows. Though this incident was much less dangerous than the Chernobyl disaster, the fragility of Ukraine’s energy security is further exposed.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch reduced its rating on the energy sector in the wake of OPEC’s decision not to cut oil production. OPEC’s decision came last week amid the continued decline of oil prices, along with energy stocks.
  • India refused to announce a timeline to cap its emissions at COP-20 in Lima. It is noteworthy that China has committed to a 2030 deadline in a surprise deal with the US recently.
  • Blaming European opposition to the South Stream Project, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that the gas pipeline to Europe will not be built. He said Russia would instead look at creating a gas hub on the Turkish- Greek border.
  • To diversify its energy sources, China is pushing hard to expand its nuclear power capacity, which is estimated to triple by 2020. While change certainly has the political will and resources to succeed, safety of nuclear power plants still remains a big concern.

 


Bessie Weisman is the Publication Coordinator at Global Energy Initiative

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