Energy Matters noted that the South Pacific island of Tokelau is getting nearly 100% of its electricity needs from solar energy. This has allowed the nation of 1400 to lessen its heavy reliance on diesel generators. New Zealand supported the $8.5 million project through an advance of $7 million  to the island. Continuous electricity supply is something Tokelau has only had since 2006.

The Financial Post reported that renewable energy sources will be competitive with coal in the production of electricity by 2035as costs decline and subsidies increase. This is the conclusion of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its annual global energy outlook. Wind farms, solar parks and hydroelectric dams are forecast to become the second biggest power generator in 2015 and rise to almost one-third of all generation in 2035, a level approaching that of coal. The IEA projected global renewable energy subsidies to rise to $240 billion in 2035 from $88 billion in 2011. That compares with $523 billion in support paid to fossil fuels last year. See also Environmental New Network Growth of Renewables will continue with continued subsidies.

Salon told us coal use is going to increase in the coming decades. In its annual World Oil Outlook, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecasts that fossil fuels will remain the main energy source in the coming decades with coal’s share growing and oil’s falling. The use of fossil fuels as a percentage of world energy use will decrease only marginally from 87 percent now to 82 percent by 2035. By then, “coal use reaches similar levels as that of oil, with oil’s share having fallen from 35 percent in 2010 to 27 percent by 2035.” Today coal and oil supply about 31% (coal) and 34% (oil) of world commercial energy, ahead of natural gas at about 24%.

Natural gas will overtake crude oil as the most-used fuel in the U.S. by 2030 as the country’s supplies balloon, the International Energy Agency said. From the Energy Tribune we learned US natural gas production will rise to 800 billion cubic meters in 2035 from an estimated 650 billion this and in the not too distant future the US will start to export natural gas. In related pieces see Unconventional Oil and Gas Production Altering Energy Landscape at Resource Investing Newsfuel fix A prediction: Shale oil plays will grow for decades and Energy & Capital Natural Gas Demand to Surpass Oil by 2030.

It appears the rich get richer. The Global Warming Policy Foundation reported that a massive shale oil field has been found in California. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the Monterrey Formation has 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil — four times as much as the massive Bakken formation in North Dakota.

The New Zealand Herald noted Algeria plans to develop its shale gas reserves. It is estimated the country’s shale gas reserves are 17 trillion cubic metres, or around four times greater than its current known natural gas reserves.

The rest of the world is sitting up and taking notice of the shale oil revolution. IBNLive thought the shale gas revolution in America will be an opportunity for India while The Australian warned that US shale is putting pressure on Australia’s natural gas industry and OPEC said US shale oil and natural gas will be a game changer for the world energy industry according to OILPRICE. And the Winnipeg Free Press wrote that the Canadian province of Manitoba is reviewing the need for new hydro power dams in light of cheap shale gas in North America.

Even Russia is feeling the pinch of cheap coal from North America and the the threat of liquified natural gas exports from the US. The Warsaw Business Journal reported Russia’s Gazprom has lowered the price of natural gas exports to Poland and other European countries. Gazprom supplies around a quarter of Europe’s gas. The 10%-20% price cut is in effect for 10 years.

UPI Energy Resources observed that Canada’s oil sands (sometimes called the tar sands) will be the country’s economic driver.

swissinfo told us that a major shift is looming in Switzerland’s energy policy. The decision in 2011 to abandon nuclear power to generate electricity will mean a profound transformation of that country’s energy supply. “It will be the issue of the century for Swiss politics – but also for the economy and society as a whole. The new energy strategy…will need to be implemented over several decades and will keep two or three generations of politicians busy.” Hundreds of billions of francs will be needed to develop alternative renewable electricity sources (solar, wind), modernise grid infrastructure, shut down the nuclear plants and implement energy efficiency. The government hopes to cut total energy consumption in half by 2050 through a series of measures aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings, industries, transportation, machinery and power stations. Political parties and interest groups are split over whether the government can achieve its objectives in a timely matter.

Pakistan’s energy crisis is affecting the processing of its cotton crop reported THE NEWS. While there is great demand internationally for Pakistan cotton, the textile industry is only operating at 75% capacity due to a shortage of electricity and natural gas. The Punjab hosts three-quarters of the country’s yarn making capacity.

 

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