The International Association of Natural Gas Vehicles estimates 9% of the world’s transportation fleets will be natural gas-powered within 10 years.

Seven Japanese nuclear operators reported losses of 463.89 billion yen ($6 billion) in the first ninth months of the current financial year, highlighting the cost of thermal coal generation to replace nuclear plants idled after the Fukushima disaster.

The growth of unconventional energy supplies (including oil and gas from US shales, Canadian oil sands, and Brazilian deepwater production) will make the Western Hemisphere close to completely energy self-sufficient by 2030, BP said in its latest annual outlook.

Canada’s National Energy Board said it backed plans submitted by BC LNG Export Cooperative to ship LNG from a port in Kitimat, British Columbia, primarily to Asian markets. The export license is for the equivalent of 84 billion square feet of natural gas per year for a 20-year period.

PetroChina has signed binding agreements to buy a stake in a Royal Dutch Shell shale gas asset in Canada, marking the latest move by Chinese state-owned companies to expand their Canadian footprint and increase their ability to tap unconventional fossil fuels.

Russia has sharply cut gas supplies to nine European countries as it struggles to cope with a cold snap that has gripped the continent. Countries affected include Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Italy.

China is forbidding its airlines from joining a European Union carbon emissions scheme to protect the climate. The companies now face fines or may even be barred from landing at EU airports. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said the rules “contravene the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and international civil aviation regulations.” Since January 1, all airlines are required to buy certificates for the carbon dioxide they emit through landings and takeoffs in the EU. Airlines that fail to comply face fines and may even be banned from landing at airports in the EU. The China Air Transport Association  estimates that the EU scheme will cost Chinese airlines some $120 million in the first year alone, and that the amount could triple by 2020.

A group of 26 countries vehemently opposed to the EU’s aviation emissions trading scheme will meet in Moscow on February 21 to discuss a plan of action. Countries include Russia, China, India and the US. The nations argue the scheme violates the Chicago Convention on international aviation as well as some provisions under the World Trade Organization.

The European Union’s biofuel target, which dictates that 10% of all transportation energy should come from renewable sources by 2020, could cost European consumers anything between €94-126 billion without reducing CO2 emissions, according to a new report.

China Electricity Council said Friday that China will face tightened supplies of electric power this year, with a shortage estimated to reach up to 40 million kilowatts. Both regional and seasonal power shortages will occur in 2012, the council warned.

South Africa’s power utility, Eskom has called on South Africans and business entities to make at least a 10% saving on electricity, as the country faced possible power cuts. In January, Eskom warned of a “very high” risk of rolling blackouts around the country, but was doing everything it could to avert it.

Energy shortages across Pakistan are crippling the country’s economy and costing businesses millions in lost productivity. The country is not producing enough power to meet the growing demand and economists estimate the shortages are shaving 2% off its gross domestic product. Electricity is cut off for hours at a time, fuel is rationed at filling stations and people are forced to run expensive generators to keep their homes lit.

California now gets about 5% of its electricity from wind power, according to data released Tuesday by the California Wind Energy Association. The majority of California’s electricity – 42% – comes from natural gas, followed by nuclear power and hydropower.

Greece cut its subsidies for solar power producers saying it could no longer afford to pay the current rates and that it had already licensed all the units it needs to meet its renewable energy targets. Like other European countries in recent months, however, Greece has been forced to cut subsidies to cope with a government budget squeeze and avoid oversupply in the sector.


with h/t Tom Whipple

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