Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro put the country’s electricity supplies on an emergency footing after Caracas and outlying areas plunged into darkness amid repeated blackouts. Maduro said a 90-day state of emergency in the country’s power sector would allow the government to address infrastructural problems.

The European Commission has initiated a dumping investigation into imports of solar glass panes from China. The complaint charges that Chinese solar glass is being subsidized and then sold in the EU at prices below market value thus causing material injury to the EU solar glass industry. This is the second complaint brought against China. An anti-dumping investigation into imports of solar glass from China has been underway since 28 February 2013.

The UK Department of Energy & Climate Change reported that power generation from plant biomass more than doubled in 2012, from 1.7 TWh in 2011 to 4.2 TWh last year.

India’s renewable energy capacity has crossed the 28 GW level. Over the past three years, over 11 GW of new renewable capacity has been added into the national electricity grid. Renewable energy supplies 13% of India’s total electricity generation and wind accounts for two-thirds of renewable power.

The Indonesian government is planning to build 36 new solar PV facilities across the country this year, Most would be located in remote areas. This would increase the number of solar plants in the country to 153. To further boost solar energy development across the country, plans were earlier announced to launch a feed-in tariff scheme as high as $0.25 per kilowatt hour applicable for 20 years. The country wants solar energy to account for 0.3% of its energy mix by 2025.

Ontario wind power has significantly raised electricity prices and might lead Canada’s largest province to have one of the highest power bills in North America within a few years, says a report from the Fraser Institute.  The think tank anticipates additional rate increases of 40% to 50% over the next few years.

Today more than 500 cities in 49 countries host bike-sharing programs, with a combined fleet of over 500,000 bicycles.

Japan, which has spent about $700 million on methane-hydrate R and D over the past decade, has the world’s biggest hydrate-research program. In mid-March, Japan’s Chikyu test ended after having retrieved about 4 million cubic feet of natural gas from methane hydrates in the waters off Japan. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has set 2018 as a target date for commercializing methane hydrate.

Exxon Mobil began production at its Kearl oil sands project in Alberta, Canada which is projected to produce 4.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the next 40 years.

Based on recent crude oil discoveries in the North Sea, Norway expects its total oil and gas production to reach 3.8 million barrels per day by 2017.

The development of shale oil and gas reserves around the world will generally be much slower than in North America, Royal Dutch Shell has warned. Chevron has suggested commercial production from shale in Europe is unlikely to start this decade.

Tesoro Corp. plans to build a complex in the US state of Washington that would unload 120,000 barrels per day of crude from trains and put it on vessels bound for Asia, the latest move to get excess oil from North Dakota to refining centers on the US West Coast. Shipping costs: $13/barrel.


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