Two-thirds of known fossil-fuel reserves must be left in the ground if global warming is to be kept at less that 2 degrees C. above pre-industrial levels according to United Nations special envoy for climate change Mary Robinson.

“The latest science makes it clear that the world needs to reach zero carbon emissions globally by 2050 to maximise chances of staying below 2 degrees and to make 1.5 degrees feasible,” she said. “To do this, two-thirds of the known fossil-fuel reserves must be left in the ground and alternative sources of clean energy found.”

Earlier this month the G7 countries agreed to phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2100.  The G7 includes Canada, the United States, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Japan.

Scotland’s government said that even though the oil industry is in a downturn, it expects production from the North Sea to increase by as much as 17% by 2019.

Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the largest supplier of crude to China.

Nigeria is expected to face fuel shortages in three weeks, as the government does not have enough money to continue to pay for gasoline subsidies.

As of year-end 2014, only four countries in the world were producing commercial volumes of either natural gas from shale formations (shale gas) or crude oil from tight formations (tight oil): the US, Canada, Argentina and China.

Irish explorer Circle Oil  said natural gas was flowing from its first shale gas well drilled into a basin in Morocco. The company said the gas was flowing at a rate of 1.9 million cubic feet per day in the Lalla Mimouna area onshore Morocco. The north African country holds an estimated 20 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale oil and natural gas reserves.  Gulfsands Petroleum reported earlier this year that natural gas was flowing at a rate of 10 million cubic feet per day at a test well in Northern Morocco.

In the UK, the Lancashire County Council voted against allowing Caudrilla Resources Ltd. to use horizontal drilling and fracking to capture the large shale gas reserves underneath the company’s Roseacre Wood site in northwest England. Todate the company has spent well over £100 million in its effort to recover this resource. The UK government, which supports fracking, now faces the dilemma of forcing through its shale gas policy or accepting the wishes of affected communities, as expressed by their elected representatives.

Indonesia announced plans to expand its electric generating capacity by 46% in four years with new electric power plants, half of them burning coal.

A new report from Bloomsberg sees the world spending $12 trillion dollars on new electricity generation sources over the next 25 years. $8 trillion will be spent on renewable sources with the remaining $4 trillion devoted to fossil fuels. Currently, the world gets about two-thirds of its electric power from fossil fuels, but by 2040 coal, crude oil, and natural gas will account for only 44% of global power generation, the report says. Renewable energy, including tidal, wind, and solar power, will likely account for 46%, and the remaining 10% will come from nuclear generation. While renewables will gather greater market share in the developed economies (particularly rooftop solar), in the developing world cheap coal will compete with cheap solar to power the increasing use of microgrids.

The Bloomberg report says financial investment in renewable energy hit nearly $340 billion in 2014. Another $5 trillion is expected by 2030.

The same report also highlights that costs for a new wind power in the US and Europe have now fallen below $100 a megawatt-hour, about on par with coal. The report projects solar- and wind-power costs will continue to decline around the world, largely falling below coal and natural gas in the decades to come. The costs of solar plants are expected to fall by nearly half over the next two-and-a-half decades, eventually becoming the cheapest source of electricity in a growing number of countries.

The US state of New York has called for 50% renewable electricity generation by 2030.

 

 

 

 

 

with h/t Tom Whipple

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