Last week the International Monetary Fund warned of the possibility of a major global economic slowdown and called for central banks to maintain low interest rates to prevent a massive global default which could lower global GDP growth by 3% and lower the demand for oil considerably.

In Norwayan economic slowdown is forcing the government to dip into its vast crude oil savings fund for the first time as it cuts taxes in an attempt to boost the economy and accelerate its economic transformation.  After buoying Norway’s sovereign wealth fund for almost two decades, oil revenues are starting to decline.

Oil traders are preparing to store diesel in tankers off the coasts of northern Europe and New York as land storage tanks are nearly full.

Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras has joined other international oil companies in cutting back on its oil exploration and development going forward in response the low level of cruse oil prices. Moreover, Peterbras did not participate in a recent auction of Brazilian oil and gas properties.

Consulting firm IHS Inc. says only one in every 20 planned liquified natural gas (LNG) projects will actually be necessary by 2025. A combination of weakening Asian economies, cheap coal, the return of nuclear power in Japan, and the ever-expanding glut of shale gas supply in North America is lowering the global demand for LNG and putting tens of billions of dollars worth of export projects at risk.

A newly released study says the resource potential of 11 offshore parcels in the Flemish Pass off the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is 12 billion barrels of crude oil and 113 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The parcels are up for bid in an auction licensing round scheduled to close in November.

US coal consumption by the electric power sector is expected to decline 8.2% this year and be the lowest amount since 1989, according to country’s Energy Information Administration.

The United Arab Emirates said it will spend as much as $35 billion on nuclear and solar capacity in an attempt to cut its dependence on natural gas for the generation of electricity. The UAE’s four nuclear reactors currently under construction are expected to meet 1/4 of the country’s electricity consumption.

The International Energy Agency predicted that renewable energy will represent the single largest source of electricity growth over the next five years, ending with 700 GW of global renewable energy capacity increase. This growth is being fostered by falling costs of renewable energy technologies, and the increasing role of emerging economies, which are turning to renewable energy for much-needed electricity generation expansion. These economies include China, India and countries in South America.

Solar energy will comprise the backbone of the world’s electricity generation in years to come, according to the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben van Beurden.

For the first time, electricity generated by onshore wind energy is now cheaper than any other source in the UK, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The cost of onshore wind power has fallen from $108 (£70.20) per megawatt-hour (mWh) a year ago to $85 today. Over the same period, coal-fired power stations have seen their costs increase from nearly $98 mWh to $115 and natural gas from $100 to $114. Offshore wind costs $175 mWh.

The Governor of the US state of California has signed into law legislation mandating the state to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. At the same time, the state will also be required to double energy efficiency in homes, offices and factories.

US vehicle fuel economy has increased by 5.1 mpg, or about 25%, since October 2007.

In the UK, London’s subways are recycling power from the wasted energy of braking trains and transforming heat into electricity. This “inverter” technology is already in place on parts of the Paris tram system and orders have been placed for units by the Milan, Italy and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia subways.

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