Venezuela’s government ordered public workers to work a two-day week as an energy-saving measure in the energy crisis-hit South American country. The nation had already given most of it’s 2.8 million public employees Fridays off during April and May to cut down on electricity consumption. Drought has reduced water levels at Venezuela’s main dam and hydroelectric plant in Guri to near-critical levels. The dam provides for about two-thirds of the nation’s electricity needs. The government began programmed electricity rationing this week across most of Venezuela, except the capital Caracas, prompting sporadic protests in some cities.

India added 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity in 2015, ahead of its target of 2.4 GW. (Note: a GW is the size of a typical nuclear reactor) India currently has 27 GW of wind capacity and has a target of 60 GW by 2022.

Saudi Arabia will need US$20 billion of investment to meet its renewable energy targets as it looks to diversify its economy away from its dependence on crude oil by 2020, according to industry experts. The Middle East country has an initial target for the installation of 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy (solar and wind). The country’s energy consumption is anticipated to increase threefold by 2030.

Germany announced it will give a €1 billion subsidy to boost electric car sales. As of May this year, electric car buyers will receive €4,000 ($4,500) when they choose a purely electric vehicle and €3,000 for a plug-in hybrid, up to a maximum car price of €60,000. The programme is designed to enable the country to reach its goal of putting one million electric cars on the road by 2020 – up from around 50,000 now out of Germany’s 45 million cars. The programme is open to all national and foreign brands and will run until at least 2019. The government has also budgeted €300 million to speed up building the infrastructure of electric car-charging stations in cities and on autobahn highway stops. Another €100 million will go toward purchasing electric cars for federal government fleets.

The government of the Canadian province of Ontario is working with private and public sector partners to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations at over 250 different locations in the province. The stations will be located along highways, in cities, and at workplaces, condominiums and some public places. Some locations will have only a Level 2 charger, which can fully charge a vehicle in four to six hours, others will have Level 3 — or Direct Current Fast Chargers — that can charge a vehicle to 80% battery capacity in 30 minutes, and some locations will have both. Currently there are 5800 EVs on the province’s roads.


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