New research suggests that households in Pakistan waste 25% of the nation’s electricity due to inefficient appliances. The usage of older household appliances were found a primary source of wasted electricity, with refrigerators being the worst offender followed by fans and lighting. Moreover, at a time of serious energy shortages in the south Asian country, a total of 17% of energy currently being used can be saved through energy conservation and efficiency measures. That’s a reduction of two hours of load-shedding, daily. The national cost of load shedding, inclusive of both direct and indirect costs, is estimated at Rs1.4 trillion ($14 billion) – the costs incurred over the past decade could have paid to put an additional 20 gigawatts of power to the national grid. It is estimated that the cost of power outages in the country are equal to 7% of GDP and electricity shortages have lowered economic growth by almost 2%.

Due to energy wastage in several provinces and lack of infrastructure, China has recently imposed a ban on new investments connecting wind power to local energy grids. The National Energy Administration placed a red alert, or the highest warning, to five provinces. This means that all pending approvals and applications in those provinces will be cancelled.

A study by the W0rldwatch Institute finds that China is wasting an estimated 15% of its wind electricity, enough to power Great Britain. Although China nearly doubled the installed wind generation capacity of the United States (145 GW versus 75 GW), actual Chinese generation is less than U.S. generation (186 terawatt-hours [TWh] versus 191 TWh).

China is expected to reach its highest point of energy consumption by 2035, while its reliance on fossil fuels is expected to drop. Fossil fuel usage is expected to hit its ceiling in 2030 with coal expected to continue as the top energy source for China by 2050. However, coal’s role in the total energy mix will fall from 64% in 2015 to 37% by 2050. The use of non-fossil fuels will more than double from the current 12% to at least 30% by 2050. China is investing heavily in solar, hydropower and nuclear.

Investment banker Morgan Stanley reports the global oil market is oversupplied in gasoline (petrol) with inventory stocks at a 5 year high. As a result, refiners around the world are going to be demanding less crude oil and we will see a further decline in crude oil prices.  Currently prices are around $41 a barrel and may soon fall as low as the mid-$30 level we saw back in February.

Almost half the UK’s electricity last year came from clean energy sources such as wind and nuclear power. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy revealed that low-carbon power sources supplied a record 46% of the UK’s electricity. Natural gas supplied 30% and coal 22%. The use of coal dropped 8% from the previous year electric utilities switched over to biomass, primarily wood pellets. The UK government plans to phase out coal-fired power stations by 2025 but only if new natural gas plants can be built to meet demand.

A new report from the US Department of Energy has suggested a 50% growth in that country’s hydropower sector.  Experts advise that with continued technological advancements, innovative market mechanisms, and a focus on environmental stability, the country’s hydropower capacity could grow from its current 101 gigawatts (GW) to nearly 150 GW of combined electricity generation and storage capacity by 2050. Hydropower currently provides around 7% of US electricity demand. Pumped-storage facilities are viewed as vital components in the country’s future energy grid, providing reliable generation to serve as backup to intermittent technologies like solar and wind.

The US District of Columbia, the site of the nation’s capital city of Washington, has set a goal to be powered by 50% renewable energy by 2032.  The goal includes promises to provide 100,000 low-income residents with electricity from solar energy by that time. Last year, the District entered into an agreement to purchase the entire output of a wind farm in Pennsylvania or about 125,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, or enough to power 12,000 homes.

By the end of this year the US should have its first offshore wind farm in operation. Located off the coast of the east coast state of Rhode Island, the 30 megawatt system could supply power to 17,000 homes within the next few years.



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