Chinese companies are building 92 coal-fired power stations in countries around the world having a combined capacity of 107 gigawatts.

The Philippines is set to open 23 coal-fired power plants over the next five years to meet rising electricity demand in that country.

Executives at the world’s largest oil companies are wondering how much worse the news can get. This week crude oil prices slid to their lowest levels since the 2008-09 financial crisis — triggered by a rancorous OPEC meeting that failed to tackle a global supply glut. As of this writing, world crude oil was selling in the $36 to $37 a barrel range.

Iran has agreed to a $3 billion contract with a consortium of companies from India to develop the Farzad B natural gas field in the Persian Gulf. The lifting of the Iranian sanctions means the consortium can resume development.

In the West African country of Nigeria, the transportation fuel shortage took a dramatic turn for the worse as massive lineups of cars were seen in almost all the gasoline stations in the city of Abuja.

The US Energy Information Administration said domestic natural gas production in 2015 is expected to reach 79.6 billion cubic feet per day, topping 2014’s record high of 74.9 bcfd and would be the fifth consecutive annual record high for US gas production.

South Korea announced a five-year plan to ensure that hybrids, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell cars account for 20% of all new cars sold in the country by 2020, up sharply from the current 2%. Under the plan, the Asian country plans to increase the number of hybrid electric vehicles to 820,000 by that date, electric vehicles to 200,000, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to 50,000, and hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles to 9,000. In addition there are plans for 1400 new EV charging stations and 80 hydrogen stations.

Ford Motor Company announced that over the next five years it is adding 13 new electric vehicles to its portfolio. By 2020, more than 40% of Ford’s automobile models will come in electrified versions. Starting in 2016 the Ford Focus will have DC fast-charging capability which will deliver an 80% charge in 30 minutes and will have a 100-mile range.

The Canadian province of Ontario is providing $20 million in grants next year to help create a network of public charging stations for electric vehicles. The province wants public and private sector partners to build Level-3 fast-charging stations in cities, along highways and at workplaces, apartments and condominiums. Ontario already provides rebates of up to $9,500 for people who buy electric vehicles, and also offers rebates for installing EV charging stations at home.

Officials from the three Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — as well as from Poland and Sweden are celebrating two electrical links between Lithuania with the West. The move is seen as a key to reducing the Baltic region’s energy dependence on Russia. The future goal of the European Union and the Baltic countries is to fully integrate the three countries’ energy systems within the continental European grid.

Temporary power supplier Aggreko has pulled out of a tender to provide generators to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year, in a major blow as organizers rush to secure an electricity source for the world’s largest sporting event. Sources with knowledge of the tender said they doubted any other power supplier had the capacity and Olympic experience to fully meet the needs of the contract. It is likely that whoever wins would have to lease generators from Aggreko. Aggreko has been involved in nine Olympics and six World Cups, providing power to the 2012 summer games in London and the Brazil 2014 soccer World Cup.

Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan finds Asia-Pacific investment in electricity transmission and distribution facilities will reach $126 billion next year, with China accounting for $78 billion of that total. While coal will remain a major player, solar is expected to be the fastest growing source of generation in this region of the world. By the end of this year, the annual solar power capacity additions in the Asia-Pacific region will exceed 25 gigawatts and will increase up to 33 GW in 2016. Smart grid investments will exceed $100 billion, largely led by China, but with India and Japan both investing more than $10 billion.



with h/t Tom Whipple

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