“There Has Never Been An Energy Transition”
Guest laugh by David Middleton
If this wasn’t funny enough…
This is too fracking funny.!
Richard Newell, Daniel Raimi
Despite renewables growth, there has never been an energy transition
Since 2010, the costs of producing electricity from solar photovoltaic systems have decreased by more than 80%. Wind and solar now vie with natural gas to provide new electricity generating capacity. To some, these trends signal the world’s latest energy transition: away from fossil fuels and toward a renewable future.
The big picture: These historical changes in the energy system, however, have been a matter of addition, not transition. Although the percentage shares of biomass, coal and oil in our energy supply have fallen with the rise of alternatives, their total use continues to grow. The world has never experienced an energy transition, but the challenge of climate change means that, for the first time, one will need to begin.
The bottom line: To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, renewables and new technologies will need to do more than build atop CO2–intensive fossil fuels — they will need to push out incumbents while at the same time expanding global energy access and reducing the system’s environmental footprint.
Richard Newell is president and CEO of Resources for the Future. Daniel Raimi is a senior research associate in RFF’s Energy and Climate Program.
“Expert Voices” wake up and smell the fossil fuel-fired toast!
One of my favorite sayings is, “We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones.” Technically we never left the Stone Age because we use more rocks now than we did in the Stone Age.
And we never left the “Wood Age.” There was no energy transition from biomass (wood) to fossil fuels. Coal piled on top of biomass, oil piled on top of coal and natural gas piled on top of oil…
It’s a fossil fueled world.
If wishes were unicorns, we’d all have a merry energy transition.
To the extent that “renewables” are replacing anything, it’s mostly been nuclear power.
(Yes, “fueled” is spelled wrong. I’ll edit the graph when I get around to it.)
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