Commodities-Now commented on the state of the world’s energy resources. A new report from the World Energy Council says there is a greater abundance of energy resources in the world today than at any other time in history, and, if properly managed, the reserves are sufficient to meet even a significant increase in demand for decades to come. The report looks at all energy sources and finds the growth of renewables has been significantly slower than was expected 20 years ago. Currently renewables (solar, wind, geothermal, tidal) provide about 1.5% of total global energy production and.for electricity production,only around 5%.

Carnegie Europe discussed the impact of the US shale gas revolution on European industry. The author notes “persistently higher energy prices are already sapping European manufacturers’ competitiveness. That could accelerate the deindustrialization of some countries.” The energy gap is being brought about by the low cost shale gas powering US electricity production. In Europe, this shale gas revolution is having an impact on energy prices, competitiveness, and the environment. Between 2005 and 2012 real electricity prices in European countries increased by 37%. In the United States, during that same time electricity prices fell by 4%. Now US electricity prices are 1/4 that of Europe’s.  The effect has been to make Europe’s manufactured products less competitive on international markets as firms have to incur higher energy prices to produce them. At risk is Europe’s standing as a global industrial power.  See also, Business Spectator, EU frets over energy cost disadvantage. Here we learned that this problem is becoming so large that the European Union is preparing a policy document for later this year followed by an EU summit in February 2014 to address this issue and come up with recommendations to close the US-Europe energy gap.

Energy Global wrote about how North American energy is reshaping global geopolitics. While Digital Journal noted that the US has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest energy producer.

The same source gave us an overview the current state of the liquid natural gas (LNG) industry and how it is expected to boom in future as North America exports more and more of its shale gas and other continents increase demand for this energy source as they shift away from nuclear and oil and high price Russian natural gas. LNG is not just producing electricity. It is also seen as a more economical means of powering heavy transport trucks, heavy duty equipment and marine vessels. (For more news on LNG as a transportation fuel keep up to date with our regular column Natural Gas Vehicle News.)

LNG has turned into one of the fastest growing segments of the global gas industry. In the last decade, global LNG regasification capacity almost tripled….According to market research performed by Ernst & Young, the global demand for LNG is expected to grow around 5 – 6% per annum over the next 15 years (faster than the overall gas market, respectively 2.5%), thus almost doubling by 2030. It is also projected that the number of countries with LNG import terminals could double by 2020 compared to 2012.

The Wall Street Journal examined How China Will Continue to Change the Global Energy Equation.  The Asian country is the world’s biggest energy consumer, biggest user of coal and the biggest carbon-dioxide emitter. The author examines three ways in which it will continue to dominate global energy headlines.

First and most obviously, China will consume. According to the International Energy Agency, China will, by a long shot, account for the world’s greatest increase in the consumption of coal and nuclear energy. It already has become the world’s biggest wind-power producer, and many people expect it in the next year or so to become the world’s biggest solar-power producer too.

Second, China will manufacture. It is selling energy-producing equipment around the world, and the quality of that equipment is improving. That is scaring energy-equipment producers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Over the next five years, China’s global sales of energy-producing equipment are likely to roil the global energy-equipment industry even more.

Third, China will innovate. Thus far, in energy as in many other industries, China has been mostly a low-cost manufacturer. That’s changing. China’s central government has prioritized energy innovation in its current five-year plan, and even if that aspiration today remains more rhetoric than reality, China is spending heavily to implement it. China has, for instance, been ramping up its investments in U.S. and European energy-technology companies. That trend likely will intensify.

UPI told us Southeast Asia’s energy demand is expected to increase 80% between now and 2035. This comes from a new report by the International Energy Agency. The Agency estimates the region’s crude oil imports will rise from the current 1.9 million barrels a day to slightly more than 5 million barrels a day by 2035, making it the world’s fourth-largest oil importer after China, India and the European Union. Moreover, by that time the region will be spending 4% of its gross domestic product on oil imports.  Southeast Asia includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

theenergycollective had a graph illustrating Africa’s electric requirements. The graph comes from here.

With Pakistan amidst an on-going energy shortage, Thomson Reuters Foundation looked at how one area, the Punjab, is turning to biogas as a new and promising energy source. Hundreds of families in villages and remote areas are using small-scale biogas plants which provide fuel for use in their kitchens and for farm equipment. The biogas replaces wood which has traditionally been the primary cooking source in this part of the world. It also replaces diesel to run farm equipment. The Punjab government has built 1,500 family-size biogas plants in rural areas, with the government paying 30% of the cost of each plant. Now it intends to vastly increase the usage of biogas over the next three years.  The biogas is created  by putting biomass – including animal or human faeces, and organic waste from forestry, industry, hospitals or hotels – into an anaerobic digester. Micro-organisms convert the biomass into methane gas, which can be used to heat cooking stoves, drive engines or produce electricity. With 34.5 million animals in Punjab, the region has the basis for a huge biogas supply which can meet the cooking needs of 30 million people.

Aamir Anjum, an engineering consultant for a private power company, told Thomson Reuters Foundation that a village with 1,000 cows could easily generate 200 kilowatts, which would be sufficient to meet its electricity needs. Poultry farms and rice, vegetable oil and paper mills could be disconnected from the national grid as they could provide all their own power from their waste, Anjum said. “If the government fully exploits all the potential available for biogas, it can meet around 13 percent of the country’s total energy consumption,” he added.

 

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