The US Energy Information Administration projects world energy consumption will increase by 28% between 2015 and 2040. Over that period coal demand will remain flat while renewable energy will be the world’s fastest-growing energy source. Nuclear energy is expected to be the second fastest-growing source. China and India will account for more than 60% of the world’s total increase in energy consumption during this period.  Even though renewables will grow the fastest, fossil fuels will continue to account for more than three-quarters of all world energy consumption through 2040. Coal’s share of global energy consumption is expected to decline from 27% in 2015 to 22% in 2040.


Source: US Energy Information Administration


Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, expects world crude oil prices to average between $40 and $43 per barrel next year and is preparing for such prices.  A Rosneft official said the recent rise in oil prices was due to a weak US dollar instead of recent efforts by OPEC to combat the global crude supply glut buy cutting back production. Oil prices have risen from the $40 range a year ago to almost $50 in the past week.

A new study from scientists at the University of Edinburgh say only around 10% of the UK’s original recoverable crude oil and natural gas in the North Sea remains and may only have a lifespan of a decade. The study adds that fracking will be barely economically feasible in the UK because of a lack of sites with suitable geology. This leads the researchers to conclude the UK will soon have to import all the oil and gas it will need or move towards greater use of offshore wind and solar energy. Roy Thompson, Professor of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh, said:

“The UK urgently needs a bold energy transition plan, instead of trusting dwindling fossil fuel reserves and possible fracking…There needs to be greater emphasis on renewables, energy storage and improved insulation and energy efficiencies.”

In response to the University of Edinburgh study, Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) chief executive Deirdre Michie said new oil and gas capacity was still being added to the North Sea basin and that some of the largest fields will still be producing in 2050. She added that a number of projects with long lifespans recently came on stream, or will do in the near future. In addition, A UK government spokesman said (commenting on the Edinburgh study):

“We do not recognise these figures. Research by the independent Oil and Gas Authority shows that in 2035, North Sea gas will still meet around a quarter of UK demand with oil from the same source meeting around a third.”

Green Energy model Germany will miss a European Union renewable energy target by a wider margin than previously predicted according to an analysis by the BEE renewable energy association. Renewable energy would account for 16% of German electric power consumption by 2020, short of an EU target of 18% for Germany. BEE added that “the 18% target will fall further into the distance if increased consumption in the heating, transport and electricity sector remains undiminished.”

Bloomberg reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s vigorous effort to move Germany toward greener energy (Energiewende) has unexpectedly meant booming demand for coal. Despite all the investment in renewable energy in the country, Germany still gets 40% of its electricity from some 140 coal-fired plants. Germany has spent some 650 billion euros ($780 billion) on subsidies for renewable power in recent decades, yet the country will at best get to 18% by 2020, according to the BEE renewable energy association. Germany has the European Union’s second-highest rates for electricity after Denmark. A green energy surcharge raises German electricity bills by 25%, to an average of about 29 euro cents (34.6 U.S. cents) per kilowatt-hour this year.

The share of wind and solar power in electricity production reached 30% of overall energy output in the North African country of Morocco in 2016. Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah says the country has a target of obtaining 50% of its electric power from renewables by 2030. The country is studying the possibility of exporting electricity to Portugal, Spain and sub-Saharan countries in future as its solar capacity increases.

China and the UK have teamed up to develop the next generation offshore wind power capacity, with a focus on identifying the best locations for the new installations and making them more resilient to harsh weather conditions including typhoons and earthquakes. The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council said research teams from the two countries would work together on five projects.

In Germany, threats by politicians to ban diesel cars from cities have scared off customers, and sales of new models plunged 14% in August from a year ago, Germany’s federal motor vehicle agency said.



with h/t Tom Whipple

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