The forces of market economics are changing rapidly and the earth is headed for a clean energy revolution faster than anyone could have predicted, according to author Craig Shields.
“Many possible events could accelerate the demise of fossil fuels, but none is required to phase them out in favor of renewables, a process that will be driven primarily by pure market economics, and faster than most people imagined,” says Shields, whose latest book, Bullish on Renewable Energy, is now available.
Currently 80% of the world’s energy is derived from burning hydrocarbons, processes that are clearly unsustainable. Shields contends that we are living in a time where fossil fuels will very quickly be replaced with clean energy and simple economics will drive the change.
Today, power purchase agreements for wind energy in certain parts of the U.S. are being signed at $0.02-$0.03/kilowatt-hour, a deal that is still extremely profitable for the developer of these wind projects. Under the right conditions, which are becoming more prevalent every day, we can generate clean energy far less expensively than we can generate electricity with coal-fired power plants.
Important Trends in Technology:
- Technological developments in solar, and wind as well as biomass, hydro, and geothermal, are driving change in the way our civilization generates and consumes energy.
- Considering our growing demand for low-carbon energy, what are the implications for nuclear power?
- What are we able to learn from renewables in places like Germany, Spain, and Brazil?
- What should we expect from the electric vehicle industry? What does the consumer adoption curve look like, and why? Are there opportunities for other “alt-fuels” like hydrogen, natural gas, etc.?
- What about energy storage: batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air, capacitors and flywheels?
- For the first time in history, a large and growing number of consumers and businesses can generate their own power less expensively than they can buy it from their local power company. What does this mean for the future of our utilities?
- What does the plummeting cost of solar and wind mean for things like energy from ocean waves, ocean currents and tides, waste-to-energy, off-shore wind, etc.?
- How are microgrids and distributed generation changing the way we think about bringing electricity to the developing world?
- What new business models are upending the way solar PV is manufactured, delivered, and sold?
- What happens now that wind energy is so inexpensive in some parts of the U.S. that it’s far less expensive per kilowatt-hour than coal?
For more facts about the renewable energy revolution, read Bullish on Renewable Energy (available on Amazon, as well as bookstores everywhere). Craig Shields is the author of four books on clean energy to date, and is the editor of the popular blog-site 2GreenEnergy.com.