Renewable energy is the Good News

Date published: 2018-05-20

The original article graph from the linked article is redone with one extra column "All Renewables". The original graph, shows individual renewable energy sources, and compares them to Total Fossil fuel sources. Adding the Renewable Totals show equivalence to Fossil Fuel new generation up to 2012, growing neck and neck. Since then, fossil fuel production expenses have grown, and costs of solar technologies have fallen. As fossil fuel EROI falls, renewable energy looks a better investment of resources, because their fuel is free. Battery energy storage costs are also still falling.

Global economies have too many impossible challenges, as cheap fossil fuels disappear. That is even before we are committed to pay warming climate costs in a future forever.  Climate change costs will continue to rise, and this is ignored, because standard economics discounts the future so much. The discount rates trick of net present value, literally says that here and now profits count more than anything else.

Standard excuse economics has it we will afford the later costs of climate change, because its says we will be wealthier in the future. Standard ecology says, no, we will be much poorer, having used up nature and resources. Noticeable standard experience has larger numbers of people being evicted from homes, rising malnutrition, and more extreme climate and weather events.

Net new electricity investment for all fossil fuel technology declines from 2013, while new Solar investment continued to rise, and new Wind less so. This hides that interesting and necessary fact, that renewable energy capital investments also use up fossil fuel energy, so more fossil fuels need to be taken from other uses.

Below is a snapshot of the original graph. The original graph includes dynamic display of values, the license for being beyond my budget.

How graphs can give different impressions. Without the total renewable energy, the line new fossil fuel generation gets to sit on top of everything else.

The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment Report 2018 is here.

As the source article in Carbon Brief says:  From the report -

It shows renewables, excluding large hydro, made up three-fifths of net power capacity growth in 2017 and supplied a record 12% share of global electricity generation.

Global renewable investment held steady, with falling costs ensuring the same money bought record levels of new capacity. Within that, developing nations, led by China, claimed an ever-larger share of the total as investment fell steeply in several European countries.

Looks like fossil-fuel developed nations are falling behind, stuck on keeping their "sunk" investments going.

Michael Rynn
Renewable Energy taking over new energy investment in developing countries.
Fossil Fuels fall behind on new electricity generation. Renewable Energy three-fifths of new generation.
Renewable Energy taking over new energy investment in developing countries.