Humans’ global power consumption is growing by about 2.5% per year, even though the world’s population is growing at less than half this rate.

The US Energy Information Administration reported low income Americans spend about twice the amount of household income on energy bills as the rich do. Last year the households in the highest 20% of income spent less than 3% of  their income on energy while households with the lowest 20% of income spent about 6% on energy.

Continuous cash flow problems due to a debt crisis in the energy sector has brought Pakistan’s only public sector oil marketing company Pakistan State Oil (PSO) close to bankruptcy.  The firm’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Naeem Yahya Mir warned that if the public oil company fails, its bankruptcy will not only shake the entire economy but also take down many banks.  “PSO is so interwoven into the economy of Pakistan that the effects of its bankruptcy will be felt in every part of the country, in both public and private sectors,” Mir told the Express Tribune newspaper.

A British economist warns of a so-called carbon bubble, caused by investors betting countries will not meet international targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Nicholas Stern said investments based on the assumption that coal and crude oil will remain as major sources of power could lead to another financial crisis if emissions targets are met. As a result about two-thirds of the known reserves of fossil fuels will not be used and there will be a massive collapse of the value of fossil fuel companies and an inevitable financial crisis.

Norway’s Statoil reported a new discovery in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea may hold a much as 150 million barrels of crude oil equivalent.

PV (photovoltaic) solar is now Japan’s dominant renewable energy source. A new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report forecasts Japan’s solar industry to hit between 6.1 GW and 9.4 GW of installed capacity by the end of this year.

Italy’s total installed solar photovoltaic capacity now stands at 16.7 GW, as of the end of March, according to Italian energy agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici SpA. The country receives almost 6% of its electricity from solar PV.

Solar is the fastest growing renewable energy source in the US and the state of California leads that nation in solar capacity. The west coast state is followed by Arizona, New Jersey and Nevada.

The UK Department of Energy & Climate Change reported the share of electric power generation from bioenergy in that country increased by 17% last year, from 13 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2011 to 15.2 TWh in 2012. Bioenergy sources include landfill gas, sewage gas, municipal solid waste, plant biomass, animal biomass and cofiring.

2012 saw a total of 44 GW of new wind capacity added worldwide. Total installed wind capacity on Earth is now 288 GW. China leads the world with 75 GW of wind capacity: more than a quarter of the world total.

World Cumulative Installed Wind Power Capacity, 1980-2012


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