August 14, 2023


The Clean Energy Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think (David Gelles, Brad Plumer, Jim Tankersley, Jack Ewing, Leo Dominguez and Nadja Popovich, Aug. 12th, 2023, NY Times)

The cost of generating electricity from the sun and wind is falling fast and in many areas is now cheaper than gas, oil or coal. Private investment is flooding into companies that are jockeying for advantage in emerging green industries.

"We look at energy data on a daily basis, and it's astonishing what's happening," said Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency. "Clean energy is moving faster than many people think, and it's become turbocharged lately."

More than $1.7 trillion worldwide is expected to be invested in technologies such as wind, solar power, electric vehicles and batteries globally this year, according to the I.E.A., compared with just over $1 trillion in fossil fuels. That is by far the most ever spent on clean energy in a year.

Those investments are driving explosive growth. China, which already leads the world in the sheer amount of electricity produced by wind and solar power, is expected to double its capacity by 2025, five years ahead of schedule. In Britain, roughly one-third of electricity is generated by wind, solar and hydropower. And in the United States, 23 percent of electricity is expected to come from renewable sources this year, up 10 percentage points from a decade ago.

"The nature of these exponential curves sometimes causes us to underestimate how quickly changes occur once they reach these inflection points and begin accelerating," said former Vice President Al Gore, who called attention to what he termed a "planetary crisis" 17 years ago in his film "An Inconvenient Truth." "The trend is definitely in favor of more and more renewable energy and less fossil energy."

Posted by at August 14, 2023 12:00 AM