China remained the world’s largest electricity producer for a fifth year in 2012. The National Energy Administration said the country’s total installed power generation capacity reached 1.14 billion kilowatts (kw) by the end of 2012. Installed hydropower capacity stood at 249 million kw, the world’s greatest level. The country’s wind power also led the world with an installed capacity of 63 million kw.

Japan’s new Prime Minister Abe has indicated he would approve the construction of more nuclear reactors. This reverses the policy of the previous administration which announced in September its goal of zero nuclear power by the end of the 2030s.

The Ukrainian government said it secured a loan from the Chinese government to back a program aimed to substituting Russian natural gas with coal. Russian energy company Gazprom supplies about 60 percent of the natural gas consumed in Ukraine.

ExxonMobil will spend $14 billion to develop the Hebron crude oil field off the shore of eastern Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador, a project it expects to yield 700 million barrels of oil.

The US Energy Information Administration says the country’s crude oil imports, long thought to be on an irreversible upward trajectory, will reach their lowest level for 25 years by 2014.

Iceland is opening its waters for exploration by energy firms, and involving the help of oil-rich Norway in the process, as it looks to make use of its energy resources and boost its fragile economy.

A recent pipeline expansion has turned the former import point at Niagara, NY into a net exporter of US natural gas to Eastern Canada.

As many as 40 international oil companies are expected to bid for offshore natural gas exploration blocks in Lebanon’s sector of the eastern Mediterranean that lies north of major deep-water gas fields in Israeli waters.

Taking advantage of the US shale-gas revolution, at least five US chemical plants are under consideration or being built that would use natural gas instead of coal to purify iron ore, the main ingredient in steel.

Higher fuel prices suggest global sales of electric vehicles could increase at a rate of 40% for the rest of the decade. A 20-page report from green energy consultant Pikes Research said the global sale of electric vehicles could reach 3.8 million by 2020.

The steady migration of people in the US from cooler to warmer states has cut electricity use because cooling a building requires less energy than heating one.

The slowing demand for European electric power that has driven prices to record lows is showing no sign of ending as the region’s second recession in four years curbs energy use. Electricity for the next year in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, will probably fall 9.2% in 2013, extending its 17% decline last year.

Spain’s solar plantst cannow produce electricity at grid parity and, thus, no longer require state subsides.

The population of theĀ  Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is expected to reach 53.5 million by 2020, a 30% increase over 2000. The GCC is a political and economic union of 6 Arab states (Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Eremites).


with h/t Tom Whipple

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