The World Bank will no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019. The move all but eliminates the World Bank’s support for fossil fuels. The bank has not supported coal projects since 2010.

France announced it will ban all crude oil and natural gas development as of 2040.  The ban will apply to the European country as well as its overseas territories. The move is largely symbolic as France imports most oil and gas and produces only 815,000 tonnes of oil per year. At that time, all existing drilling permits will not be renewed and no new exploration licenses will be granted. The government plans to stop the sale of diesel and gasoline engine cars by 2040 as well. The ban’s main impact will be on companies prospecting for oil in the French territory of Guyana in South America.

Offshore Technology writes about the game-changing natural gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean. Since 2009 a series of massive gas discoveries have been made in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin involving Israel, Egypt, Cyprus and Lebanon and could change their economies dramatically.

A report by GlobalData finds global LNG liquefaction capacity is expected to grow by 94% during the 2017–2021 period, from 386.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2017 to 750.5 mtpa by 2021. North America (US and Canada) leads in terms of planned capacity growth, contributing 77% of the total global growth. The region is expected to add 288 mtpa of liquefaction capacity by 2021. The former Soviet Union and Australia follow with expected capacity additions of 38 mtpa and 27 mtpa, respectively.

The European Union governments have reached agreement on renewable energy targets for the year 2030. Ministers said they would aim to source at least 27% of the EU’s energy from renewable sources by 2030, up from a target of 20% by 2020.  The EU member states also set a 14% renewables target for fuels used in road transport by 2030, with emphasis on electricity in road and rail transport. In October, the European Parliament had called for the renewables target to be increased to 35%. The European Council and the European Parliament will meet next year= to work out the final targets to be adopted by the European Parliament.

Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota says it wants to sell millions of electric cars by 2030. The company announced it would introduce at least 10 new electric vehicles by the early 2020s — first in China and then globally. It plans to sell at least 5.5 million electrified vehicles by 2030, including 1 million “zero-emissions” vehicles that include full battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The company expects to electrify its entire lineup by 2025.

The US state of Texas has the country’s lowest solar prices. A new project coming on-stream in 2020 in the city of Austin will involve a purchase agreement that could lead to prices as low as 2.1¢/kilowatt-hour. The 150 megawatt project is located in Western Texas on 1,700 acres of land and has the capability of being increased to 180 MW in future.

Recent auctions around the world show us how solar prices are tumbling. After breaking 3¢/kWh in May of last year, a batch of solar projects have stood out globally. The world’s lowest price is currently in Saudi Arabia at approximately 1.79¢/kWh. Mexico also broke the 2¢/kWh barrier when they collected a 1.97¢/kWh bid at an auction Chile is on this list, with pricing around 2.148¢/kWh from bids that occurred in early November. And the United Arab Emirates is at 2.42¢/kWh.

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