Forbes gives us its views on The Most Important Energy Developments Of 2012. The author arrived at this list after his annual conversation with energy expert Vaclav Smil of the University of Manitoba. Smil is involved in interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy.

Here are the top 5 issues:

1. For the first time the US is looking at the possibility of energy independence within a couple of decades. The post explores what that would really mean.

2. Is Germany’s rash decision to close its nuclear plants and rely on renewable energy a wise choice?

3. What will Japan due for its electricity sources post Fukushima? “Japan is facing a near-term decision: turn on more nuclear power plants, import more LNG or suffer the growth penalty from higher electricity costs resulting from less supply. For a country that is already suffering from low growth and declining exports, this would be a steep price to pay.”

4. What are the geopolitical implications of China’s rising energy needs?

5. It was another rough year for the electric car, still waiting to break-out of its tiny niche.



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