The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reports that its latest estimates show that the undiscovered crude oil and natural gas resources in the Barents Sea are twice as large as previously thought. The Barents Sea could hold a total of 2.8 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents, equal to 17.6 billion barrels of crude. The Barents Sea is a part of the Arctic Ocean divided between Norwegian and Russian territorial waters.

Currently, Europe has almost 13 gigawatts of offshore wind projects across 10 countries, with 3,589 individual turbines connected to the continent’s electric grid.

Denmark announced plans to end its renewable energy subsidies before 2030. The northern European country has a target to generate at least 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Earlier this month, Sweden and Norway said they would extend a joint subsidy scheme for renewable energy by a decade to 2030, although Norway will stop adding new projects to the system after 2021.

Iran has started operating its largest solar plant with an electricity production capacity of 10 megawatts. The plant has around 39,000 solar panels. The electricity will be sold to the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran  for a period of 20 years.

The United Arab Emirates says it has opened the country’s first solar-powered petrol station in Dubai.  The station is covered with solar panels that can generate up to 120 kilowatt hours. The station only requires 30% of the power so the excess goes back to the city’s electric grid.

India added 11 gigawatts to its renewable energy capacity in 2016-17. The capacity increase was divided equally between solar and wind.  Over this period India also added 11.5 GW of coal power.  Currently the total renewable energy capacity of India is 57 GW, accounting for 17% of India’s electric power generation. Wind energy makes up for a majority of renewable capacity (56.3%) while solar accounts for  21.5%.

Stats New Zealand reports that as of 2015, renewable resources (hydro, geothermal, wind) supplied 79% of that country’s electricity generation.

Australia has over 6 gigawatts of solar capacity, or enough solar electricity to supply about 1.3 million households. By the end of this year total capacity could surpass 7 gigawatts with new solar farms under construction and an increase in companies turning to solar. Presently 26% of Australian homes have solar panels on their roofs.

Over the past year, the closure of coal-fired power plants in the Australian states of South Australia and Victoria and energy policy confusion at both the federal and state government levels have contributed to a jump in wholesale electricity prices. Consumers will likely face electricity price increases of 10% or more this year as those increases are passed on to the retail sector.

 

 

 

 

 

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