According to Reuters, China will soon be issuing regional energy quotas. The purpose is to put a lid on demand for non-renewable energy by the world’s largest energy consumer.  The quotas will not apply to renewable energy sources like hydro, solar and wind.  Actual numbers for the quotas have not been published yet.

The Guardian revealed that hydropower turbines will be generating energy in the UK river Thames. 900 year old Mapledurham Estate in Oxfordshire has an updated version of the Archimedes’ screw using the last working water wheel on the Thames. It will generate 500,000 kWh of electricity each year to be sold to Marks & Spencers. M&S is encouraging small suppliers, including farmers, to build renewable energy generation by guaranteeing to buy the electricity under a five-year fixed price contract.

Reuters reported that a draft document shows a big shift to renewable energy in the European Union by 2050. The drastic shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources will drive up electricity costs over the next two decades. The 2050 energy road map will be published by the end of this year and complements a 2050 low carbon road map released by the European Commission earlier this year. Consumers could be spending as much as 15% of their household income on energy by 2030. According to all scenarios, electricity will play a much greater role, almost doubling its share in final energy demand to nearly 40% in 2050. Renewable energy also rises significantly, achieving at least 55 % in gross final energy consumption in 2050, up 45 percentage points from today’s level of 10 %. In a high renewables scenario, it would rise to 97 % by 2050.

The New York Times wrote about why South America is unlikely to be a major player in the renewable energy spectrum.  With major oil finds by Brazil, Argentina and Columbia and Venezuela committed to a petroleum future, fossil fuels will continue to have a primary role in South America for the foreseeable future.  The region has great potential for solar, wind and hydropower but with limited funds available for energy investment,  South American countries have focused their renewable energy interests to the biofuel ethanol made from sugar cane.

GOVPRO told us about DeKalb County, Georgia in the US which is turning landfill methane into electricity and natural gas.  Now the county has ordered 24 sanitation and maintenance trucks which will run on compressed natural gas produced by the landfill. By converting the waste to energy, DeKalb County produces enough electricity to run 2,500 homes and will produce enough natural gas to run 600 trucks.

Speaking of natural gas, Tom Adams Energy discussed the future of road fuel. He notes that the the low value of natural gas relative to oil is motivating many firms to find ways to use gas to displace oil.  For example, flared gas or vented gas could meet 3% of the current world demand for oil.

The Independent reported that the UK government is cutting the subsidy for solar power by 50%. Drastic cuts to the feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar power, the guaranteed income to homeowners and businesses that install working solar panels in their roof, are likely to be announced by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, on Monday.  The subsidy, introduced 18 months ago, has been considered a success as 100,000 households have installed solar power. The Government has become nervous of the subsidy’s cost, which is funded by a levy on household electricity bills.  High electricity rates area a hot political issue in the UK and the Government wants to cool it.

There were a number of posts about electric vehicles this week.  Global Energy Watch mentioned that Nissan wants to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles around the world by 2016. To date, the company has sold 15,000 Leaf electric cars, the only model it produces, but has plans to add a further seven models across the group.  Meanwhile Hong Kong is buying 36 electric buses for $180 million said autobloggreen.

plguincars told us that a small EV car war could start within a couple of years.  Yet autobloggreen said that EVs are not selling in the UK.

Der Spiegel reported that electric boats are making a comeback in Switzerland while Gas 2.0 focused on the expanding rental market for electric mopeds in Japan including solar-powered mopeds. And Global Energy Watch wrote about the world’s largest all EV carsharing fleet in Amsterdam. 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles will be available for on-demand mobility, without the necessity of returning them to a fixed rental station or even recharging them.



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