Today, 90% of the Moroccan population is connected to the electric grid, up dramatically from the 1990s, when that figure stood at just 18%.

Renewable energy sources (solar, wind, biomass, biogas)  have accounted for 62% of electric power capacity growth in the European Union since 2000.

China announced that it will increase its annual purchase of “new energy” or “green” vehicles by 50%.  These will be purchased by central government bureaus, city government departments, and public institutions.

Honda Motor Company says two-thirds of its vehicles will be hydrogen or plug-in electric by 2030. This will include plug-in lawn mowers, motorcycles and construction machines.

2015 marked the first time that solar power surpassed natural gas in terms of new installed capacity in the US. A new report from GTM Research revealed that last year saw 7.29 gigawatts  (GW) of new solar capacity and that solar accounted for 29.5% of all new energy sources in the country. The US now has a total of 25 GW of installed solar capacity, which is enough to power approximately 4 million average homes.

Mexico has opened the world’s first cactus-powered biogas plant. NopaliMex has the first power plant that uses prickly pear cacti to make a biogas fuel to power its own operations as well as provide fuel for the vehicle fleet in the Mexican town of Zitacuaro. The prickly pears are pureed, combined with manure and left to decompose to create methane gas, which is used for fuel and generating electricity. The cactus fuel is anticipated to reduce gasoline use in Zitacuaro’s vehicle fleet by at least 40%. The methane that is burned for power produces enough electricity to run 300 homes at a cost that is 50% cheaper than grid prices.

In the town of Alliance in the US state of Nebraska we have a greenhouse producing citrus fruit that is powered year round by geothermal energy. Greenhouse in the Snow uses only the Earth’s heat from 8 feet below ground. Warm air is taken from perforated plastic tubing that is buried underground. The plastic tubes go out one end of the greenhouse and run a loop to the opposite end. A single fan circulates air through those tubes. As the air moves through, it picks up enough heat from the soil to keep the fruit warm.

The International Energy Agency says Canadian oilsands growth is likely to come to a “standstill“ in the next couple of years after the projects under construction come on stream as heightened environmental concerns, lack of pipeline access and policy changes slow investment. The slowdown in Canadian production is part a global plunge in crude oil production as companies slash investments in a world of  US$32 per barrel oil.

China’s National Energy Administration announced the country will close some 1000 coal mines this year as it attempts to deal with excess supply. The plan is to remove coal capacity of 60 million tonnes. China is the world’s top coal consumer but demand for this commodity has been falling as economic growth slows and the country shifts away from fossil fuels in order to curb pollution. The Asian country intends to shut as much as 500 million tonnes of surplus coal production capacity within the next three to five years. China has a total of 10,760 mines, and 5,600 of them will eventually be required to close under a policy banning those with an annual output capacity of less than 90,000 tonnes.

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