Renewable Energy: Ten Short Lessons is a valuable primer on the physics of renewable energy, but isn’t a lot of help in establishing whether or not the existing world economy can be successfully transitioned to zero-carbon energy.
In the best case, we will go through a transitional period in which we shrink our population and energy/materials usage while minimizing casualties and preserving the best of what we humans have achieved in these last few decades of anomalous energy abundance.
Our returning guest in this episode, energy modeler Christopher Clack, says according to his recent modeling, that investing more into local solar will deliver more public benefits than investing in utility-scale projects.
Wind and solar capacity will double over the next five years globally and exceed that of both gas and coal, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report.
Yes, confronting the climate crisis will require a switch from ‘dirty’ to ‘clean’ power. But it also demands a radical reconfiguration of environmental power dynamics.
The offshore wind farms auctioned last September in the UK will most likely be the world’s first “negative subsidy” projects – wind farms that will pay money back to the government over their lifetime.
There appears to be an underlying assumption that building up wind and solar energy and green infrastructure—this big, industrial initiative that they’re talking about—will be enough working through the market to drive fossil fuels out of the economy. But history, analysis, and research show us that’s not the way things work. New sources of energy in a growing economy simply add to the total energy supply.
For the labor and climate justice movements to win anything close to a just recovery and a Green New Deal, we need to collectively stand up against market solutions and build on the diverse forms of energy democracy that are already being developed across Europe.
Many studies have concluded that the current global economy can transition from fossil fuels to be powered entirely by renewable energy. While supporting such transition, we critique analysis purporting to conclusively demonstrate feasibility.
The share of renewable energies in global electricity generation increased again last year and capacity financed by investments even reached a record level in 2019, according to a recent report on global investments in renewables, EURACTIV Germany reports.
We found that if China uses the most cost-effective renewable energy resources, it could generate more than 60% of its electricity from “non-fossil” sources by 2030 – including wind, solar, hydro and nuclear – at a cost that is around 10% lower than under business-as-usual.
My take-away: the energy transition is an enormous job, and people who look at it just in terms of politics and policy have little understanding of what is actually required.