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Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Green energy is likely to displace hydrocarbons in 15-20 years"


Guantanamo Bay windmills (Wikimedia.org).
Not so very long ago the notion that solar and wind power would one day displace coal, oil, and gas sounded crazy to most of us. That was true even though our better judgment told us what good news it would be for our planet if indeed it came to pass.

Now comes yet another informed comment from Juan Cole, who, unlike many of his media colleagues, appears to enjoy digging around for the facts pertaining to his topic of the day, which just happens to be green energy. And leave it to Cole to make windmills and solar panels the stuff of excitement and adventure. He bursts on the scene with this startling announcement:

The adoption of wind and solar for electricity generation around the world is happening at a growing pace, and the likelihood is that it will displace hydrocarbons in fifteen to twenty years (decades sooner than Big Coal, Big Oil and Big Gas expect). Here are some stories illustrating that stepped-up pace.

Got that, Katalusis readers? Green energy is likely to displace hydrocarbons in fifteen to twenty years. Here's the thing:

Germany’s wind power output is up by a third in the first five months of 2015 over the same period the previous year. In part, some offshore projects that had been delayed have started coming on line, adding 3 gigawatts of capacity. In part, Germany’s government plans to reduce incentives for wind and has already done so for solar, on the theory that these are now mature industries. The planned changes caused owners of planned wind turbine plants to rush to finish them so as to benefit from the more generous current policies. In 2015, it is expected that for the first time, Germany will generate more electricity via renewables like wind and solar than by its aging set of 8 nuclear reactors. The cost of electricity in Germany is historically low this year as a result of the wind and solar installations in the country, and is half what it is in Britain.

China added 5 gigawatts of new solar capacity in the first three months of 2015! That is nearly equivalent to all the solar installations ever built in Spain. China is going for 17 gigawatts of new solar capacity in 2015. That will make it about tied with Germany, currently the leading solar power in the world, with 33 gigawatts of installed coapacity.
 

And there's more:

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