A new study says that lack of competition in UK energy markets is costing customers £1.9 billion a year. If competition in the energy market does not improve, bills could end up being £70 more expensive than they should be by 2020. See the study here.

By 2020 China expects to have 150 million passenger vehicles on its roads. This number will climb to 250 million by 2030.

A new study finds that the green house gas emissions from palm oil production are significantly underestimated and that palm oil biofuels could be more climate-damaging than oil sands fuels. Read more here.

OPEC output in April hit its highest level since 2008 as extra crude oil from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya more than compensated for the lowest Iranian supply in decades. Supply from the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries averaged 31.75 million barrels per day (bpd). The previous high was September 2008, which was shortly before the cartel agreed to a series of supply curbs to combat the global recession and collapsing worldwide demand.

Iraq expects crude oil production to reach 10 million barrels per day within the next six years.

Italy’s Eni and Rosneft are expected to agree to search for crude oil and natural gas in the Russian Arctic.

Poland has the fastest-growing economy in the European Union and coal produces around 93% of its electricity. One-fifth of the country’s electricity is produced from just one plant, Elektrownia Belchatow, in central Poland.

A report from the Australian Treasury Department estimates that Australia’s coal reserves will last for another 90 years.

A US Department of Energy report shows Argentina holds more natural gas trapped in shale rock than all of Europe does – a 774-trillion-cubic-feet bounty that could transform the outlook for Western Hemisphere supply. This puts Argentine shale gas reserves several times higher than previous estimates, behind only China and the US.

Lebanese energy and water minister, Gebran Bassil, said the country could save around $1 billion by moving to natural gas. Relying on gasoline, gasoil and diesel oil, the country is losing $6 billion annually or 15% of the country’s GDP.

More than 7.7 million people in Central America live without electricity, limiting their health care, education, and livelihood opportunities.

An electricity crisis is looming in India as around 50 power stations have just days of coal stocks to fuel the plants. Several hours of power cuts are routine in most parts of the country and with the shortage of electricity reaching 21 GW the situation is expected to worsen this summer.

The Japanese government said the country is heading for a 0.4% power shortage this summer, primarily because of the closed nuclear reactors. Japan’s second largest power company Kansai Electric Power Company said it may face a 16.3% power shortage this summer if it is unable to restart its nuclear reactors.

Some parts of China will experience severe blackouts this summer as the result of an electricity shortage of 30 to 40 million kilowatts, according to an industry report published last week. The shortage will hit about 30 million kilowatts during summer peak days and may expand to 40 million kilowatts if heat waves persist. China’s more developed eastern and southern regions will bear the brunt of the shortages, followed by north and central China.

Rwanda’s Energy Authority is to start power rationing to avert a potential energy crisis as demand for electricity peaks amid faltering supply. The country is raising peak hour rates to industry by 33% to induce them to operate in off peak hours. Rwanda’s electricity charges remain the highest in East Africa at $0.17/kwh, raising the cost of doing business in the country given the $0.008-$0.10 range in the rest of the region.

Canada is on track to install more than 1.5 GW of new wind energy capacity this year. In 2011 the country added 1.3 GW of wind capacity.  Canada is in 6th place globally in terms of new installed wind energy and currently has 5,4 GW of total installed capacity – enough to power more than 1.2 million homes. The country expects to have 10 GW of total installed capacity by 2015.

The global wind industry expects to install some 46 GW of new wind energy capacity in 2012. Total global wind power capacity will be just below 500 GW at the end of this year.

Japan will boost renewable-energy capacity by 13% over the next year after it begins a price incentive program for generators this July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. Japan will add 2.5 GW of clean energy including solar and wind. The country currently has a capacity of 18.8 GW of clean energy.



with h/t Tom Whipple

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