Renewable Energy Is Suddenly Startlingly Cheap

Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org
USA
2021
The New Yorker

Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaign - website 350.org: Titled “The Sky’s the Limit,” a report by the London-based think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative begins by declaring that “solar and wind potential is far higher than that of fossil fuels and can meet global energy demand many times over.” Scientists have long noted that the sun directs more energy to the Earth in an hour than humans use in a year. But, until very recently, it was too expensive to capture that power. That’s what has shifted. On the actual Earth, circa 2021, the report reads, “with current technology and in a subset of available locations we can capture at least 6,700 PWh p.a. [petawatt-hours per year] from solar and wind, which is more than 100 times global energy demand.”

This idea, while numerically accurate, ignores the facts that solar (and wind) energy have the least energy density by far and are not always available and are not steady. All basic essentials for a successful modern world with respect for the environment and wildlife habitat.




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