Energy consumption by China rose 3.9% in 2012 from the previous year. Coal represents 66.4% of the total energy consumed, with oil and natural gas accounting for 18.9% and 5.5% respectively, according to an estimate by the Diyi Caijing economic daily. The rest is mainly provided by hydro and nuclear.

According to the International Energy Agency, demand for coal continues to grow everywhere in the world except the United States. Globally, demand grew 4.3%  in 2011, the most recent year for which there are data. The biggest increases were in Asia and Europe.

The International Energy Agency’s chief economist, Fatih Birol, said high Brent crude oil prices are posing big risks for the global economy. Mr. Birol said European oil and natural gas import bills for 2013 will reach about 500 billion euros ($668 billion) if oil prices remain at these levels. This means a “major problem for the European and global economy.”

The Asia Pacific region is projected to import 44% of its primary crude oil requirement by 2035, up from 36% in 2010, said the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) based in Singapore. Oil production in the region has risen “only slightly” since 1990, outpaced by a significant increase in demand.

A record was set for 2012 in terms of the amount of crude oil shipped on US railroads. The Association of American Railroads reported that crude oil last year made up 0.8% of all rail shipments, up 0.2%t compared to the previous year.

Ecuador’s crude-oil export revenue totaled $12.7 billion last year, up 7.6% from $11.8 billion registered in 2011. Oil is Ecuador’s main export and one of the government’s main revenue earners.

There’s enough natural gas in Ukrainian shale to satisfy the country’s needs without imports, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Azarov. Ukraine wants to diversify an energy sector that depends largely on Russian natural gas.

China has indicated it plans to introduce a tax on carbon dioxide emissions as part of a set of new taxation policies aimed at preserving the environment.

In choosing to opt out of nuclear power to generate its electricity, Germany is finding it has to backtrack on its greenhouse gas emission commitments. Germany saw increased emissions in greenhouse gases last year due to more coal and natural gas usage while the country seeks to develop its renewable energy sources, according to the Federal Environment Agency. The country emitted the equivalent of around 931 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2012, or 14 million tonnes more than a year earlier, an increase of 1.6%.

Volkswagen has confirmed that its XL1 Super-Efficient Vehicle, featuring fuel consumption of 261 mpg US, will go into limited production at the company’s Osnabrück factory in Germany. The plug-in diesel-electric hybrid can cover a distance of up to 50 km (31 miles) in all-electric mode.

India, seeking to generate 30 GW of electric power from renewable sources by 2017, increased capacity by 12.4 GW in the past three years by adding wind, biomass, solar and hydro plants. Wind accounted for the biggest increase, at 8.3 GW. The South Asian country’s current renewables capacity totals about 26 GW.

1.8% of arable land in the UK was used for bioenergy in 2011.  8,000 hectares of oilseed rape, 14,000 hectares of sugar beet and 75oo hectares of wheat were used to produce 1.3 millon tonnes of biofuels for the UK road transport market. 9,000 hectares of miscanthus and 3,000 hectares of short rotation coppice were grown for electricity production. In addition, 200,000 tonnes of straw was used as fuel in biomass power stations.



with h/t Tom Whipple





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