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MINING.com

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Renewables Can’t Offset Growing Need For Fossil Fuels

Solar and wind power are among the renewable energies forecast to spike in 2020, accounting for two-thirds of the new power generation capacity comings on line, a new report shows.

Experts from The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), forecast energy consumption from non-hydro renewables to rise by 14 percent next year, while oil-generated energy would grow by just 1 percent, even with prices remaining range-bound despite political tensions in the Middle East.

“Global energy supply is still a long way from being decarbonized,” says Peter Kiernan, chief energy analyst at the EIU. “The world will still depend mainly on fossil fuels in 2020, with rising use of natural gas and oil more than compensating for a slight decline for coal.”

Natural gas will lead growth among the fossil fuels, with a 2.6 percent increase, the report says. Such growth will also put it ahead of hydro power and nuclear energy. Coal consumption, in turn, is expected to edge down slightly.

The study highlights that the Paris Climate Change Agreement will use 2020 as the base year against which the 2030 targets will be measured. However, the experts predict that those targets will likely to be missed, particularly if the United States goes ahead with its plan to exit the agreement.

“If Donald Trump wins the presidential election on 3rd November 2020, then this exit will take effect the next day. This will make developing countries less willing to sacrifice economic growth in order to cut emissions,” it says

The report comes on the heels of a United Nations report, released late November, which said countries were not doing enough to keep the planet’s temperature from rising to near-catastrophic levels.

By Mining.com

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  • Henry Hewitt on December 05 2019 said:
    Surely that headline should read: Fossil Fuels can't match Renewables' infinite ability to scale and last forever to match growing world needs. Infinite in scale and virtually free. You dig, er, I mean, stop digging. Once the capital is gone (oil, gas and coal are capital not income), it's gone. Apres moi le deluge is not much of a business plan and a pretty damn cruel thing to lay on your grandkids.
  • Lee James on December 05 2019 said:
    A lot of the discussion is about how we slow the Great Burning using a transition to clean, renewable energy.

    I observe that an additional force is at work, affecting our rate of fuel consumption. We have a very politically unsettled world. In it, we don't need the added stress of fossil fuel dependency. Petroleum is the world's largest trade-commodity . . . and also the one most likely to contribute to conflict and resource grabs. That means we continually run the risk of disruption to petroleum supply.

    We'll either wake up and smell the fumes for environmental reasons. Or, the world will tilt as conflict rages and gas pumps dispense sky-high prices for fuel.

    We've had a great but brief run with fossil fuel. I'm very nervous about what comes next. Will we be ready for a changing climate and heightened world conflict? Will burning oil contribute to both challenges? Maybe we should do something different.

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