India may be catching up with China in terms of GDP growth but it still lags far behind on electricity provision. The contrast between the two global heavyweights is stark: nearly 404m Indians currently live without any electricity at all, compared to 8m Chinese.
What’s more, while China is projected to achieve universal electrification by 2015, India won’t be fully electrified until 2030, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.
If you want to drive a change in the wider energy mix, start with the navy. That was the case when Winston Churchill helped spur a boom in oil demand by switching the British navy from coal to oil. Now the US navy may be about to do the same with algae.
The Guardian reports today that the US navy has just carried out its first successful test on a boat powered 50 per cent by diesel and 50 per cent by algae.
As if there were not enough gas in the US.
The US Geological Survey has discovered that much of what it thought was oil in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska is actually gas. It says in a new report that new estimates are for 896m barrels of conventional, undiscovered oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of conventional, undiscovered, non-associated gas within the reserve and adjacent state waters.
This compares with estimates made in 2002 of 10.6bn barrels of oil. The new estimate, roughly 10 per cent of the 2002 estimate, is due primarily to new data from recent exploration drilling that revealed gas rather than oil in much of the reserve. Nonetheless, the new assessment also indicates 8 trillion cubic feet less gas than the 2002 estimate of 61 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, conventional, non-associated gas. Non-associated means there is little to no crude oil in the reservoir.
Yet that is still a surfeit of gas and, as such, is just one more reason why the US should take advantage of its broad gas reserves by offering government incentives to build an energy infrastructure to use its gas.