The astonishing growth of renewable energy – Renewable energy is taking over the world!

As I say in my forthcoming book  Energy Revolutions, Profiteering versus Democracy (PlutoPress): ‘if recent growth trends in renewable energy continue, then sustainable renewable energy sources (mostly wind and solar PV) will make up 100 per cent of world energy consumption (all energy, not just electricity) by the year 2050. ……..Based on trends over the last ten years, nuclear power would be projected to supply only around 3 per cent of world energy in 2050. There is a consistent trend in the last ten years of world growth in renewable energy (mostly wind and solar power) of 12.6 per cent per year…….By contrast, the total primary energy consumption (that is, all energy, not just electricity) is showing an average growth of 1.4 per cent per year over the previous ten years’ This is shown in a Table below taken from my new ‘Energy Revolutions’ book (published by Pluto Press):

Nuclear power hardly needs to be included in such charts, since their contribution to world energy by 2050 is likely to be negligible. See the chart below, also taken from my forthcoming book Energy Revolutions

Nuclear power is actually declining as a proportion of total energy consumed in the world. This is because the amount of energy supplied by electricity is rapidly increasing whilst the volume of nuclear production is static. Increasingly the new electricity supplies are coming from renewable energy sources. Despite the ritualistic pronouncements from the nuclear industry about an imminent upsurge in nuclear power through a new ‘renaissance’ (which has been supposed to be happening for the last 20 years) renewables are triumphing.

Oil and gas corporations like Exxon produce their own fantasy pronoucements about how use of natural gas will increase in the future. Not only are renewables dominating deployments of electricity generation capacity, but the market for fossil fuels is being eaten away as electrification spreads through the world economy. Transport will become dominated by electric vehicleselectric trains and eventually also electric planes. Heating will be increasingly provided by electrically powered heat pumps.

As strong as they are, fossil fuel and nuclear interests cannot stop the renewables takeover. Sure, they can slow it down to an extent by misinformation about renewable energy and technologies like EVs and heat pumps, but green energy will win in the end. That is because there is an unbeatable combination of grassroots energy activists campaigning for renewable energy and also because renewable energy and renewable-friendly technologies are developing so fast!

by David Toke. He is Reader in Energy Politics at the University of Aberdeen. Details of his book ‘Energy Revolutions – Profiteering versus Democracy’ can be seen HERE 

Taken from David Toke’s ‘Energy Revolutions’ substack blog which can be accessed HERE

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