CNN said Singapore is betting that natural gas is Asia’s fuel for the future. Taking advantage of its strategic position in south Asia in light of the Iranian situation, Singapore believes that the demand for natural gas is going to explode. With natural gas from Indonesia’s East Natuna fields in plentiful supply, Singapore is making sure it has the infrastructure to become one of the world’s most important shipment hubs for liquid natural gas (LNG). Its LNG terminal is on track for completion at the end of 2013. And this will be just in time as experts believe most of the world’s future LNG demand is about to come from Asia. The most important factor is the discovery of massive deposits of unconventional shale gas in the United States and Canada. Asian oil and gas companies are now investing heavily in U.S. and Canadian shale projects and Canadian oil sands (which contain the third largest proven reserves of crude oil in the world). Hence, conditions are right for a tipping point that could see Singapore become a center for the energy trade. Singapore is also a member of the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline which will connect a population of 677 million people spread across 4.5 million square kilometers which will enable Southeast Asia to supply the lucrative natural gas markets in China, Japan and India.

Natural gas may free Poland from Russian energy domination wrote The Seattle Times. With large but unproven shale gas reserves, Poland is hoping that domestic natural gas will give it a more stable energy supply with less reliance on Russia’s Gazprom. “If geologists are right, up to 768 billion cubic meters of natural gas sits trapped in shale deposits deep beneath the surface in Poland, enough to meet the country’s needs for the next 50 years and more.”

MACLEANS saw grey skies for the green energy industry in Canada. The province of Ontario, like the US and Europe, has sharply decreased the government subsidies it gives to wind and solar companies with the result that many companies are now struggling and some have exited the market. “Clearly the green party is over—at least for now. The question is whether governments in Canada and elsewhere will let the industry die on the vine.”

In contrast, Bioenergy Insight noted a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicting a 40% jump in the global use of green energy by the year 2017. The IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012 believes the world’s dependence on fossil fuels will lessen as the use of biopower, wind, solar and hydro grows.  Bioenergy is seen as having the second-fastest growing rate at 8.3%, behind wind power which will grow at almost double that figure. China will contribute 270 GW to the new renewable capacity,with 56 GW for the US, 32 GW for Germany and 36 GW for India. You can access the IEA report here. See also Wind Power Will Grow by 100 TWh per Year, Says IEA at VantageWire.

Commenting on a recent study that says the US could get 80% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050, the Denver Posts asked: But At What Cost? The National Renewable Energy Laboratory came to this finding in its “Renewable Electricity Futures Study. The author says that reaching the 80% target will take an enormous amount of investment. “To get to 80 percent will require doubling and then quadrupling the installation rate of renewable capacity – adding 20 GW a year for the next 20 years and then 45 GW a year to 2050. That compares with 11 GW of renewable capacity installed in 2009 and 7 GW in 2010.” The cost of the transition for the electricity sector will depend most on the pace of improvements in renewable energy technologies and could range as high as $900 billion to $1 trillion. The choice of renewable energy deployed will vary by region of the country. An unaddressed question how the electricity system manages such high levels of intermittent renewable energy,such as wind and solar, with no storage capacity in sight.

environmental LEADER reported that UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury, has partnered with E.ON and Geothermal International to provide up to 100 of its stores with heating, hot water and cooling from geothermal energy. Sainsbury expects to supply up to 100 MW of renewable power in its stores by the end of 2016. The company’s goal is to have all of its stores using fully renewable heat sources by 2030.

The north African country of Morocco says it intends to be 40% renewable by 2020 we learned from the Saudi Gazette. The country currently imports 90% of its energy but hopes to be producing 6 GW domestically by the end of this decade. The country is currently in the midst of its 500 MW concentrated solar power project with the first 160 MW portion to begin soon. Plans are to build 2 GW of solar power over the next 8 years along with 2 GW of wind and 2 GW of hydropower.

CleanBiz Asia posted that China wants 50 GW of solar power by 2020. Meanwhile Forbes noted that China leads the world in renewable energy investments.



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