The newly elected Danish centre-left government has set Denmark on a radical decarbonisation course. It has raised the CO2-reduction target from 20% to 40% by 2020 and wants a complete phasing out of all fossil fuel use (oil, natural gas, coal) by 2050. Denmark already has the highest energy prices in Europe, but the government believes its new ambitious green policies will be good for the economy:by stimulating green technology and a big potential for jobs and exports.

Italy has overtaken Germany as the world’s largest PV solar market for the year 2011. This year Italy installed  6.9 GW of solar PV electricity while Germany fell to 5.9 GW. Following behind Italy and Germany as the top solar energy markets for the year 2011 are: the United States with 2.7 GW; China with 1.7 GW; Japan with 1.3 GW, and France in sixth with approximately 1.0 GW.

The UK Guardian provides us with an interactive visualization of Europe’s energy situation here. We get a series of graphs comparing the 27 EU countries on greenhouse gas emissions, primary and renewable energy, and energy dependency.

The Australian state of New South Wales has enacted the toughest wind farm rules in the world. Anyone living within two kilometres of proposed wind farms will have the right to veto them.

China announced the discovery of a massive coal deposit. The 89.2 billion tonne coal reserve at Sha’er Lake in northwest Xinjiang Uygur, is being called the largest coal find in Asia.

Rising coal costs are expected to impact India’s electric power projects. The bond rating agency, Fitch, said that the rising cost of imported coal, coupled with a weakening rupee, could force some Indian power projects to default on their debt obligations. Coal accounts for 55% of India’s electric power generation capacity of 182,344 MW. Rising coal prices could put massive pressure on plants that cannot pass on higher fuel costs to customers, and in some cases this could render projects unviable. Most new Indian power projects are dependent on imported coal for their input.

smartplanet has graphics on Asia’s booming demand for coal here.

Russia’s Rosneft has become the world biggest oil production company as it beat rival ExxonMobil with the results for the first nine months of 2011.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the country’s oil reserves may dry up in the next 35 years, based on the current rate of depletion.

Natural gas in Pakistan will be rationed to control a potential shortfall ahead of the winter season. Pakistani natural gas supplies fell 33% compared with last year. Rolling blackouts are common and the government has worked with gas consumers to limit consumption.

Decommissioning the wrecked reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant will take 40 years and require the use of robots to remove melted fuel that appears to be stuck to the bottom of the reactors’ containment vessels.

Iran’s energy minister says its new Bushehr nuclear power reactor will be on-stream by March 2012.  The reactor will produce 1 GW of electricity.

A new study shows that consumer electronics account for about 13% of energy use in US homes. Within that 13%, televisions accounted for 34%, PCs 16%, and set-top boxes 13%.

The average American household spent $4,155 on gasoline this year. This represents 8.4% of median household income–the highest percentage since the 1981 fuel crisis.


with h/t Tom Whipple


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