Coal’s 20-Year Reign Masks a Brewing Revolution – by Liam Denning (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2018)

Wind and solar are growing faster than incumbent power sources.

BP’s latest Statistical Review of World Energy, released Wednesday, contains a chart that could leave environmentalists feeling somewhat flat (much like the lines):

Coal’s share of the world’s electricity mix was about 38 percent in 1997, and in 2017 it was about … 38 percent. 1 Fossil fuels overall have actually increased their share, from 63 percent to 65 percent. Not exactly what folks in Paris or (even further back) Kyoto had in mind.

When it comes to the global energy market, though, absolute numbers do tend to shift very slowly – its sheer scale makes a supertanker look like a Ferrari. Which means it’s also important to look at what is happening on the margin. And here, there are clear signs of a shift.

In any market, growth is as important as absolute scale. Any CEO telling investors their company is so big already that growth doesn’t matter would soon be in for an awkward meeting with the board. Growth is a signpost to the future – albeit not infallible – and a magnet for investment (see this for further explanation, looking at the subject of electric vehicles.)

Beneath the headline numbers about the mix of global power generation, here is the mix of global power-generation growth:

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