The world is shifting to renewables faster than expected, Canadian think tank finds
A Canadian think tank found that Canada's status as a 'world superpower' is threatened because the world is shifting away from fossil fuels faster than expected, opting more and more for renewable energy.
A Canadian think tank found that Canada’s status as a ‘world superpower’ is threatened because the world is shifting away from fossil fuels faster than expected, opting more and more for renewable energy.
“It is increasingly plausible to foresee a future in which cheap renewable electricity becomes the world’s primary power source and fossil fuels are relegated to a minority status,” reads the conclusion of the 32-page document, produced by Policy Horizons Canada. The document draft was obtained by CBC and its conclusions were reportedly confirmed by two experts, Michal Moore from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and Marty Reed, CEO of Evok Innovations.
Humanity’s energy demand (especially electricity) is increasing, there’s no denying that. Everyone is expecting renewable sources of energy to take over in the long run, but this is happening much faster than was forecasted. Most of the claims in this report aren’t even controversial at all, they just put everything into perspective. Fossil fuels are still extremely important to world economy, but their grasp is beginning to fade.
Wind and solar systems have the advantage of being “highly scalable and distributable,” the report states, which makes them appealing for communities of any size, even without an existing grid. Even without major subsidies, renewable prices have been steadily going down year after year, while the fossil fuel market remains volatile. The report also highlights another valuable point: the biggest rise in energy demand comes from emerging economies, many of which are in South America and Africa, where solar energy especially (but also wind) has high potential for electricity generation, and where grids are less efficient or non existent.
They also found that while some are less fortunate than others, almost all countries have at least some possibility to generate renewable energy:
“Although any individual country may lack the optimal conditions for every type of renewable electricity, all countries are likely to have at least one or more options to produce electricity from renewables that will be cost comparative or cheaper than generation by fossil fuels,” the report reads.
Another important tell is energy storage. The report writes that Tesla motors is already producing lithium-ion batteries for both cars and homes at a cost of roughly $300 US per kWh, a price which the International Energy Agency thought we won’t be reaching until 2020.
“Battery manufacturers in Asia are building battery factories at similar scales to Tesla’s Gigafactory that will triple battery production by 2020,” the report continues.
“These economies of scale are expected to further reduce the cost of batteries to $150 US per kWh by 2020. At this price point, electric vehicles will become fully competitive with those powered by internal combustion engines.”
It’s a fine irony that a country like Canada is “threatened” by the shift to renewable energy. After all, the planet is slowly moving from a climate-changing technology to a much safer and eco-friendly one, they should be happy for this, right?