In its annual review of world energy, BP said renewable energy contributed almost 40% of the growth in global power generation in 2016. Solar power generation increased 29.6% last year, while wind power grew by 15.6% percent and coal fell 6.2%.  Coal’s decline in electricity production was the largest one year drop on record. Asia-Pacific overtook Europe and Eurasia as the largest producing region of renewable power. China overtook the US to be the largest single renewables producer. Crude oil remained the world’s leading fuel, accounting for a third of global energy consumption. Global nuclear power generation increased by 1.3% in 2016 with China accounting for all of the net growth.

Denmark leads the world, getting 59% of its electric power from renewable energy sources.  Among the larger European Union economies, renewables share is 26% in Germany, 25% in Spain, and 23% in both Italy and the UK.

BP reported global emissions of CO2 from energy consumption increased by only 0.1% in 2016. During the period 2014-16, average emissions growth has been the lowest over any three-year period since 1981-83.

The US Energy Information Administration reported that in March of this year wind and solar accounted for more than 10% of that country’s electricity generation. In 2016 wind and solar generated 7% of US electricity.

In March, France passed legislation requiring that all new commercial buildings must have their rooftops at least partially covered in either solar panels to generate electricity or plants to conserve water.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects renewable energy could attract $7.4 trillion in global investment by 2040. That would represent 75% of the total $10.2 trillion that will be spent on new power generation capacity by that time. Wind and solar alone could account for 48% of installed electricity capacity and 34% of electricity output worldwide in two decades — up from today’s 12% and 5% today. See New Energy Outlook 2017.

MIT Technology Review tells us Swedish company Wheelys is testing a 24-hour mobile store in China run entirely by technology. Located on the campus of Hefei University, about 450 kilometers west of Shanghai, the concept uses apps, smartphone technology and biometrics to make shopping easy in a store without staff. Online retailer Amazon is testing a similar clerk-free shopping concept at its Amazon Go store for its employees in the US city of Seattle. Read more about it here.

 

 

In the US, the California Energy Commission has approved $17 million for nine new hydrogen fueling stations in order to expand the hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure network in California. Five stations will be located in Southern California in Huntington Beach, Irvine, San Diego, Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks. Three will be in the San Francisco Bay Area and other will connect the Southern California and the San Frandisco stations.

 

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