Recent global solar-power capacity auctions have come in at record low levels: $0.033/kilowatt-hour (kwh) in India, $0.032/kwh in Mexico, $0.024/kwh in Abu Dhabi, $0.029/kwh in Chile, and $0.039/kwh in the United States. In adding renewable energy to their grids, many countries are now holding public auctions whereby the lowest qualified bidders get the government contracts to build electrical generating capacity. This is the most economic way of ensuring a country gets renewable energy at the lowest cost.

A report from the McKinsey Global Institute, How technology is reshaping supply and demand for natural resources,” estimates that renewable energy sources, primarily solar and wind, could jump from 4% of global power generation today to as much as 36% by 2035, reshaping global electricity markets in the process. By 2025 solar PV and wind power could become competitive with the marginal cost of natural gas and coal production, accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources. Growth rates in renewable power deployment would likely accelerate after that.

McKinsey further projects that growth of primary energy demand worldwide will slow and could even peak in 2025 if new technologies such as robotics, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are adopted rapidly. Global demand for crude oil and coal will most likely peak and could decline over the next two decades. While oil demand is likely to continue growing strongly in China and India with a rapidly emerging middles class, it could slow in North America and Europe. due to increased energy efficiency and shifts in transportation to electric and hydrogen vehicles and autonomous cars.

The South American country of Argentina has set a target to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% of the country’s electricity generation mix by 2025.

Spending by US consumers on energy is now at its lowest level in 60 years. The lower prices for energy resulted from falling electricity, gasoline and natural gas prices along with improved energy efficiency. US consumers allotted less than 4% of household spending to energy in 2016, the lowest levels since record-keeping of this kind began 60 years ago.

The European Commission announced the continent will be investing €444 million in energy infrastructure projects.  Of the 18 projects selected, seven are in the electricity sector, 10 in the natural gas sector and one smart grid. Five projects relate to construction works and 13 to studies. Germany’s SuedLink project will connect wind power generated in northern Germany with consumer centres in the south of the country through 700 kilometers of underground high-voltage cables. It represents that nation’s largest energy infrastructure project to date and is designed to better integrate renewable energies into the national grid as well as enhance the cross-border exchange of energy with neighbouring countries.

European Union countries Slovenia and Croatia’s are building a smart grid project, which includes 10 megawatts of battery energy storage, grid integration of distributed generation resources such as small hydro and biogas plants, and advanced control systems. The project will integrate renewable energy into their electrical grids and enhance greater energy security without the need to build new overhead power cables.

Last year automaker General Motors committed to running all of its operations with renewable energy by 2050. This week it announced its SUV plant in Arlington, Texas (which makes more than 1,000 SUV’s a day) will be entirely powered by wind energy by the end of next year. The assembly plant is one of GM’s largest assembly plants in the world, both from a manufacturing footprint as well as electricity load.

The US cities of Pueblo, Colorado and Moab, Utah, became the 22nd and 23rd cities in that country to commit to a transition to 100% renewable energy by the mid-2030s.

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