Brazil’s Petrobras has made “one of the most significant oil discoveries” in the country’s offshore sub-salt area, a partner in the discovery said, raising expectations the state-led oil company has made another giant find.

Venezuela has increased oil sales to China to 640,000 b/d.

US exports of coal and fuels such as gasoline and diesel continue to soar. Both categories are on track to set new annual records. Demand for coal is rising in developing countries such as China and India as those countries work to bring electricity to millions who won’t have it.

Pakistan has decided to convert its remaining oil-fired electric power plants to cheaper coal over the next 18 months.

Royal Dutch Shell plans to spend at least US$1- billion a year exploiting China’s potentially vast resources of shale gas as part of an aggressive strategy to expand in the world’s biggest energy market.

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) being released into the atmosphere in the United States has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap, plentiful and clearer natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

The Rwandan government announced that geothermal energy drilling will begin in December.

Regulators in several European Union countries are preparing to contract natural gas-fired electricity generation capacity to provide back-up for renewable energy on days when the wind does not blow and the Sun does not shine.  For the first time European consumers will find out how much the variability of renewable energy is costing them as they pay for back-up gas-fired power.

Regulators in the US state of New Mexico have approved showing the cost of renewable energy on consumers’ electric bills. Public Service Company of New Mexico customers can expect to see between $1.38 and $1.47 added onto their monthly electric bills soon to cover the costs of adding renewable energy to the company’s costs.

Australia has more rooftop solar installations than any country in the world. Data from the Australian government’s Clean Energy Regulator and the International Energy Agency show that Australia installed a total of 785 MW of solar power last year, mostly small-scale panel systems on residences and businesses.

Meeting Irish renewable energy targets will require investment of up to €5 billion between now and 2020, according to a report from stockbrokers Davy. Both Ireland and Northern Ireland have both set targets to generate 40% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The report estimates this will require the construction of wind farms capable of generating up to 3.5 GW of electricity, in addition to the existing renewable generators.

Each MW of wind-power installed requires an investment of approximately $US1.3 million . The turbine bears the lion’s share of this burden, amounting to 70% of the total cost.

with h/t Tom Whipple

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