A study released by the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy looked at energy efficiency among the world’s 23 largest energy consuming nations. These countries represent about 75% of all the energy consumed around the globe. The study looked at 35 different metrics of measuring energy efficiency in each country, including the intensity of energy use in buildings, industry and transportation. It also put considerable weight on government policy that is designed to improve efficiency, such as target setting and the implementation of standards for energy use in appliances or fuel economy in vehicles. The study acknowledged that energy consumption and efficiency are affected by geography, climate and a country’s size. Germany placed first partly because it has a comprehensive strategy to become highly energy-efficient, and has set targets to reduce consumption to 50% below the level of 2008 by 2050. It is particularly strong in keeping industrial use of energy under control. Italy and Japan tied for second place in the rankings, with France third.

A new study says that rocks beneath the ocean floor by fast-spreading tectonic plates may be a large and previously overlooked source of hydrogen.  Discoveries of free hydrogen gas, which was once thought to be very rare, have been made near slow-spreading tectonic plates deep beneath Earth’s continents and under the sea. Scientists are now in a position to identify where free hydrogen gas may be forming beneath the seafloor, at what rate, and what the total scale of this formation may be, which on a global basis is expected to be massive.

Autoblog discusses the future of hydrogen vehicles with expert Professor Joan Ogden.

The Port of Los Angeles—the US’s largest port by container volume and cargo value—is building the world’s first marine terminal able to generate all of its energy needs from renewable energy sources. Once the development is complete, the 40-acre Pasha Green Omni Terminal will be able to run completely off-grid during power outages.  Renewable power will come from an onsite, 1.03-megawatt solar micro-grid that also features 2.6 megawatt-hour battery storage system and energy management technology. The terminal will be home to an entire fleet of zero-emission cargo handling equipment, such as electrified yard tractors, high-tonnage forklifts, drayage trucks, a top handler and wharf cranes.

Marketing analysts at Frost & Sullivan say solar energy is reaching maturity as a global energy source, with solar power systems for both residential and utilities in line to reach grid parity by 2020. By then the cost of electricity generated by the Sun will be the same as that from other sources. The fastest solar growth will happen mainly in China, India and Japan, which together will account for more than 80% of all solar installations planned over the next five years. Europe’s growth, on the other hand, will lag behind suffer as governments withdraw subsidies and other incentives.

German automaker Audi is planning for electric vehicles to account for 25% of its sales by 2025 or about 450,000 cars. To reach this goal the company is going to invest 1/3 of its research and development budget into EVs, digital services and autonomous driving.

Of the 14,202,024 new cars registered in the European Union and the European Free Trade Association last year, only 186,170 (1.3%) were pure electric vehicles and 234,170 (1.6%) were hybrids we learn from the European auto association ACEA show. Most of these sales were in Northern Europe where governments offered large subsidies to EV purchasers.

Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai is planning to release an all-electric vehicle with a single-charge range of 250 miles by the end of this decade.

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