Australia looks to reverse its ban on selling uranium to India reported the Financial Times. This news comes at the same time that India Blooms said that India’s coal reserves to generate electricity could be depleted in only 23 years at the current rate of production and consumption.

The US and China are on the brink of a trade war over solar energy wrote the New York Times. American manufacturers accuse the Chinese of “dumping” solar panels into the United States at prices, aided by government subsidies, lower than the cost of making and distributing them. However, buyers and installers of solar-energy systems and some environmentalists are concerned that a trade dispute between the two countries could slow the adoption of solar energy in the US and affect the number of American jobs in the industry.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation praised Germany for paying the upfront costs so that the rest of the world can benefit from the cost reductions in solar power. “Germany’s decade-long support of the rollout of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has forced the technology down the cost curve at an accelerated rate…Without Germany’s energy policy, this reduction in costs would have taken far longer to achieve.”  See The Birth of a Power Source.

Energy Tribune presented an article on Nuclear-based Electricity and Economic Theory which questions the economic rationale of Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear in favour of alternative energy sources. The author believes “…it is only a matter of time before German voters show that they have no intention of accepting a large-scale dismissal of nuclear energy that could have a negative influence on their standard of living. The Merkel initiative is nothing less than an attack on the living standards of the gainfully employed in Germany, and to a lesser extent surrounding countries that will have to supply energy to Germany.”

An increasing number of households in the Australian state of New South Wales are having their electricity cut off because of their inability to pay their power bills said the Sydney Morning Herald. The newspaper noted that the state government was under pressure to provide more assistance to lower-income people in order to avoid further disconnections. The increase in households that face having their electricity supply cut-off follows steep rises to electricity prices, which will continue over the next few years. From July 1, household electricity prices rose by a further 17.3%. More price increases are planned for the next two years. Meanwhile Energy Matters says that people in the Australian state of Victoria are also having trouble paying their electricity bills.

BBC says that the number of people with energy debts in the UK has reached 1.5 million. The number includes 850,000 electricity customers and 700,000 gas consumers. Consumer groups say that further increases for these energy sources in the coming year will push more into debt. The Guardian also reports on this: Rise in fuel debt as householders struggle to keep warm.

UPI Energy Resources posted that Russia wants to finance an ambitious Central Asian power project. Russia is prepared to invest $500 million in the “CASA-1000” project which would build a 1 GW transmission line from hydropower generators in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The latter countries are lacking reliable and less expensive electricity. At about 1,000 miles it would be the biggest regional power supply project in Eurasia.

Europe claims that Russia is using energy as a weapon in international relations said Rigzone in describing the increasingly tense relations between Russia and Europe over energy issues.  Europe is becoming more dependent on Russian natural gas as it moves away from nuclear power.  At the same time the EU is launching anti-trust investigations into Russia’s Gazprom which controls the pipelines that ship that natural gas to Europe.

arabian business noted that Saudi Arabia is about to overtake Russia as the world’s largest crude oil producer. This will happen by 2015 as output at new Russian oil fields fails to offset fast decline at mature deposits. While Russia’s output will plateau at 10.5 million barrels per day, Saudi Arabia’s will rise to match Russia’s by 2015, and hit 14 million bpd by 2035.

Alberta Oil looked at the global growth in unconventional natural gas. Unconventional gas includes coalbed methane (CBM), tight gas and shale gas. Citing the recent International Energy Agency report, the article notes that unconventional gas will go from making up 13% of the global supply mix in 2009 to 22% in 2035 – most of it coming from shale and CBM. In North America where vast shale gas deposits have been found in Canada and the United States unconventional gas is already king of the supply hill. It a now accounts for 56% of natural gas production and will rise to 64% by 2035. Rising production from shale gas, tight gas and CBM is eliminating the need for conventional gas extracted from high cost regions like Alaska and the Canadian Northwest Territories.

The Canadian province of Quebec will have a large surplus of hydro power by 2020 reported the Montreal Gazette. This comes from a revised supply forecast by Hydro-Québec. The utility now anticipates a 20 terrawatt (TW) surplus by 2020 with the addition of new sources of renewable electricity this decade (wind, small and large hydro).

REVE carried a story that Indonesia could become the world leader in geothermal energy. The country has the largest number of volcanic hot spots in the world but lacks the investment to convert them into power. It has plans to add as much as 9 GW of installed capacity by 2025 but needs investors to make this a reality. Meanwhile, local politics and cultural beliefs are also creating a hurdle. Some Hindu leaders fear that meddling with nature could anger the gods.

The same source told us that wind now accounts for 3% of total US electricity supply and South Korea is planning on building the world’s largest offshore wind farm with a capacity of 2.5 GW.

The US Navy is experimenting with algae to power its ships.  Daily Tech posted a story that the navy will be testing a destroyer later this week that will run on a 50/50 mix of algae oil and diesel fuel. The ship is a former destroyer and it will be the largest US navy ship yet to operate with the biofuel on November 18/19 as it travels up the California coast.

Renewable Energy Magazine mentioned that Germany opened the world’s first hydrogen-hybrid power station in Prenzlau.  For the first time engineers have united three renewable sources of energy – wind, hydrogen and biogas – to produce and store electricity and heat.

Morocco is developing a hybrid wind-hydro project according to Green Prophet. It will be the largest electricity project in the world to combine wind and water and will produce about 1 GW (1,070 megawatts). The power is to be used in Morocco’s isolated rural areas. The wind power is used to pump water uphill at night when demand is low. This energy is then released during the day as demand rises.

With an uncertain future for nuclear energy, the Express Tribune reported that coal will join oil as a key part of Asian demand over the next quarter century. The International Energy Agency expects coal to remain the main energy source in many countries and particularly China and India. Bu 2020 India will surpass China as the largest importer of coal.

Zimbabwe faces another four years of inadequate electricity supply and more rolling brown outs.  ZimEye said this will mean little or no electricity for many areas of the country.  To address the problem the country needs to spend US$125 million to repair the outdated Hwange Power Station generators and US$8 billion to restore optimum power production levels across the country.  The Hwanga generators may be replaced in the next two years but it will be longer before additional power generation capacity is added.

AFP described how Ugandans are protesting power shortages in the country by blockading streets in the country’s capital, Kampala. Uganda has been facing worsening power shortages in recent months after the government failed to pay its bills with power generators, leaving homes and businesses in various parts of the country without electricity for days on end. The city’s central business district had been without electricity for days due to load-shedding by the national power distribution company, Umeme. Load-shedding is cutting power to parts of the power system to prevent a breakdown across the grid.

Climate Spectator wrote about how fraud, bribary and collusion are infiltrating carbon emission trading markets. See Companies cited by US EPA for fake biofuel credits and Bribery, collusion hinder UN carbon scheme: research.

autobloggreen reported that the US government is proposing a 54.5 mpg fuel standard for US vehicles by 2025.

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