Clean energy stagnation

Long before climate policy became fashionable, global energy consumption data shows that from 1965 to 1999 the proportion of carbon-free energy more than doubled to more than 13 percent. Since then, there has been little if any progress in expanding the share of carbon-free energy in the global mix. Despite the rhetoric around the rise of renewable energy, this stagnation suggests how policies employed to accelerate rates of decarbonization of the global economy have been largely ineffective.

Senior Fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, Roger Pielke Jr is one of the very best science communicators. An illustration is this short Breakthrough essay which shows that Kyoto and all the hype has not produced the decarbonization we need. And certainly not the results the renewables advocates want us to believe. Roger concludes with this:

The data shows that for several decades the world has seen a halt in progress towards less carbon-intensive energy consumption, at about 13 percent of the total global supply. This stagnation provides further evidence that the policies that have been employed to accelerate rates of decarbonization of the global economy have been largely ineffective. The world was moving faster towards decarbonizing its energy mix long before climate policy became fashionable. Why this was so and what the future might hold will be the subject of future posts in this continuing discussion.

Read the complete essay. If you are keen to learn what makes for effective policies, then you are very likely to enjoy Roger’s The Climate Fix. For a short introduction see A Primer on How to Avoid Magical Solutions in Climate Policy.