The US Agriculture Department estimated that 42% of this year’s corn crop will go toward making ethanol to be mixed with gasoline and diesel fuel.

A diesel refinery is being planned for the US state of North Dakota that will process 20,000 b/d of Bakken crude oil. Construction could begin this spring.

Canada’s National Energy Board  has approved a 25-year export license for LNG (liquified natural gas) to be sent to Asia from a terminal near Kitimat, British Columbia,

US Gulf Coast imports of light crude oil will probably drop to zero by 2014 amid North America’s “unprecedented oil boom,” according to Bank of America Corp. Imports, which are currently about 500,000 barrels a day, will decline as domestic production displaces them.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, there were 44.7 GW of wind power capacity added around the world in 2012, putting the total at 282.5 GW. That is almost a tenfold increase over the past decade. More than a quarter of the world’s wind power capacity is in China, which had more than 75,000 MW of wind energy in place at the end of 2012. The United States comes second at 60,000 MW and Germany is third at 31,000 MW.

In 2012 global solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity surpassed 100 GW for the first time. Solar photovoltaic plants can now generate as much electricity in a year as about 16 mid-sized coal-fired or nuclear power stations. Germany, home to a third of the world’s solar panels, remained the biggest PV market after adding 7.6 GW,

Australia added about 1 GW of solar PV capacity last year, increasing the country’s capacity to 2.4 GW, according to the Australian Solar Council.

China will try to cut its energy consumption for industry by over 5% this year, said Zhou Changyi, director of the energy saving department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Between 2008 and 2012, China’s large enterprises managed to cut per unit energy consumption by some 30%.

96% of all homes in Vietnam now have electricity, government officials said, as the country is turning away from coal to renewable energy. Vietnam has installed 29 hydro-electric plants since 2002, and is in the process of modernizing its electric grid by constructing a 270-mile high voltage power line to connect hydro-electric power stations in the central portion of the country to growing markets in southern Vietnam.

with h/t Tom Whipple

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