Germany and Norway have agreed to create the NordLink project which will be Europe’s longest electric power grid interconnection, enabling the transmission of 1.4 gigawatts of renewable energy. The high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link will extend 623 kilometers. It is scheduled to go into commercial operation in 2020.

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is unlikely to be ready before 2022, energy officials said last week, as it has been beset by regulatory hurdles and complicated by Russia’s financial woes. Dependent on imports for almost all of its energy, Turkey has embarked on an ambitious nuclear program with plans to build four 1.2 gigawatt (GW) reactors with the first to go online by 2019. The Turkish government wants at least 5% of its electricity to come from nuclear in under a decade, cutting dependency on natural gas largely bought from Russia.

The Central American country of Costa Rica is powered entirely by renewable energy. Thanks to some heavy rainfall this year, Costa Rica’s hydropower plants alone are generating nearly enough electricity to power the entire country. Should a drought limit the amount of hydro available, the country has access to geothermal, solar, and wind energy sources. The country has a population of 5 million.

Global energy and communications firm, Mercom Capital Group, says worldwide installations of solar power generation capacity are projected to reach 54.5 GW this year.

China has increased its 2015 solar installation target from 15 gigawatts (GW) to 17.8 GW – which compares to the 12 GW installed last year by the Asian country. China is hoping to more than triple its solar power capacity to 100 GW by 2020.

Renewable energy generated 19.2% of the UK’s electricity in 2014, government figures show, surpassing nuclear generation for the first time ever. Nuclear generated 19%. Total renewable electricity capacity at the end of the year stood at 24.2 gigawatts (GW), which was 4.5 GW – or 23% – more than a year previously. Natural gas is the leading UK source of electrical power, accounting for 30.2% last year followed by coal at 29%.  The leading renewable energy source is bioenergy which accounted for over 1/3 of the country’s renewable energy. The other renewable sources are onshore and offshore wind, hydro and solar.

In Scotland, 2014 saw renewable energy meet close to 50% of the country’s electricity demand. Onshore wind generated 30% of Scotland’s electricity needs.

Germany’s Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research released a report revealing that the global market for electric vehicles (EVs) now stands at 740,000 cars, with almost half (320,000) being registered in 2014. This represents about 1% of the total number of motor vehicles on the world’s roads (74 million). The US accounts for 1/3 of all EVs (290,000) followed by Japan (110,000) and China (100,000).

The Chinese city of Shenzhen announced plans to contribute up to $800 million (5 billion yuan) to stimulate increased electric vehicle sales. The Shenzhen government plans to increase the amount of EV infrastructure throughout the city by creating charging stations and financially assisting purchasers of EVs. There are currently 10,000 electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles registered in the city and the government hopes to increase this number to 35,000 by 2017.



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