Several sources described the anger in the UK as British Gas raised its electricity and gas prices by16% to 24%. Also see here and here and hereBritish Gas followed similar price increases by Scottish Power and Centrica.

The Globe and Mail wrote about the challange of electric vehicles and concludes that for a country like Canada with long distances and a harsh climate pure electric vehicles are really nothing more than “glorified golf carts, useful for short distances, in good weather conditions.”   In this country, at least, it seems that the internal combustion engine is alive and well with the hybrid vehicle being the best bet to supplement it.

From Global Energy Watch we learned that Germany has officially abandoned nuclear power, as promised by Chancellor Angela Merkel back in May. Germany joins Switzerland as the first countries to officially turn their backs on this power source in light of the Fukushima disaster.  The 9 German reactors currently operating produce one-quarter of the country’s electricity and are scheduled to be shut down between 2015 and 2022.

Meanwhile OILPRICE told us that France and Russia are going full steam ahead with nuclear power.

The OILPRICE also gave us a heads up that China is creating waves with its neighbours in Southeast Asia as it strives to take more and more of the offshore and onshore energy resources for itself to supply its insatiable demands.  Particularly worrisome to India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos are China’s plans to build over two dozen hydroelectric dams on the big rivers which these countries depend on for water.

Science Daily reported that globel investments in green energy were up by one-third last year to $211 billion dollars (US).  The driving forces were wind farms in China and small-scale solar panels on rooftops in Europe.  We also learn that the cost per megawatt of wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) solar modules continues to decline.

Forbes Energy Source carried a story about recent research at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry which suggests there may be a limit to the amount of wind energy on Earth.  Researchers have reached the ironic conclusion that since the amount of wind on the planet is finite, the world’s climate might be affected if too much wind is extracted for energy purposes by countries around the globe.

 

 

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