North American natural gas continues to get the headlines. The Christian Science Monitor tells how the natural gas glut is reshaping electricity markets as it undercuts the price of wind, solar and coal. The San Francisco Chronicle says that US electricity prices have fallen 50% driven by the glut of shale gas. The Charlotte Observer describes how heating costs are falling this winter in North Carolina due to the gas glut. However, David Strahan in Gas Galore? questions that the world will be enjoying a glut of natural gas. He believes that global demand will outstrip the amount of gas available. Platts reports that the global hydraulic fracturing market revenue increased  63% in 2011 and is projected to rise a further 19% in 2012. Natural gas may be cheaper than coal writes the Financial Post and prices are low enough to support coal-to-gas switching. Meanwhile, New Energy and Fuel believes that natural gas will be converted to synthetic crude oil.  This site says that Petrobras, the giant Brazilian state-owned oil company, has already developed a technology to do just that and explains the process to us.

Major energy companies are racing to Norway’s Arctic says UPI Energy Resources. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said it received proposals from 37 energy companies vying for the rights to more than 200 blocks up for grabs in Norway’s offshore. Of those, 181 are in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.

USA Today says the the United States will be energy independent by 2035. This will come about due to greater supply of shale oil and shale gas as well as renewable energy like wind and solar. In addition, the economy will be much more energy efficient. This information is in the annual report of the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA also says that coal’s share of overall electricity generation will fall from 49% in 2007 to 39% in 2035. Fossil fuel share of energy consumption slips from 83% of total U.S. energy demand in 2010 to 77% in 2035. fuel fix adds that energy imports will be down by 1/2 by 2035.

The Economist tells us what the energy world is going to look like in 2030. “By 2030 trends in the energy mix will see fuel shares converge for the first time as gas gains in importance.The amount of energy needed to produce a unit of GDP will also converge as globalization drives energy efficiency, making economic growth far less energy intensive everywhere in the world.”

eurasia review asks whether the green economy is a boon or a menace. At the same time Forbes discusses The Great Renewable Energy Scam.

India will be adding 22,000 MW of solar energy by 2022 says a government report cited by Renewable Energy Magazine. This is equivalent to 22 coal-fired plants. Currently, India has an installed renewable energy base of over 22 GW, which is around 11% of total energy capacity and contributes over 5% of electricity generation. India’s biggest challenge is to reduce the per-unit cost of renewable energy.

REVE says that Desertec plans to install 2 GW of concentrated solar energy in Tunisia. This is roughly double the power from a typical nuclear plant. Desertec has already constructed a solar plant n Morocco and has plans to supply Europe with 15% of its electricity from the North African desert. The first electricity exports from Tunisia are set to reach Europe by 2016 via a new low-loss transmission line to Italy. Solar radiation in North Africa is three times that of Central Europe. Plants built in this location produce more electricity and have the potential to replace more conventional, carbon-intensive forms of power. The Tunisian plant can provide enough electricity to power 700 000 European homes. You can read more about Desertec here.

The Cyprus Mail tells us that the world’s longest power cable will be built between Cyprus and Greece. The project capitalizes on recent natural gas finds off Israel and Cyprus, Greece’s energy shortage, and the massive demand for electricity within Europe. The submarine cable could be a reality by 2016. The EuroAsia Interconnector, the world’s longest underwater power cable, would connect Israel with mainland Greece, passing through Cyprus and Crete. The project would include new electricity plants in Cyprus, Crete and Peloponnesus. The cable would have a capacity of 2 GW and would be about 540 nautical miles long and would be placed at a depth of roughly 2,000 metres.

EE Times says that the US has approved its first tidal energy project. The renewable energy project is located in New York city’s East River. Some 30 turbines will be installed over 21 acres in the East River that connects Long Island Sound to the Atlantic Ocean.




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