Earlier last week, I wrote a blog post about the methane cloud found over the Southwestern US; according to a new study, coal consumption has increased 9 times faster than wind energy and 40 times faster than solar. Can you hear the world sighing?
The report with these statistics was released by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and shows that coal and oil still dominate the world for energy production. According to the report, coal consumption has grown faster than any other form of energy since 1973.
Here’s a dreadful snippet from the report:
“Coal-fired-generation capacity continues to grow in wealthy countries, too. For electricity production, no other energy source can currently match the black fuel when it comes to cost, scale, and reliability. In all, more than 500 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity will likely be built worldwide by 2040. Given coal’s pivotal role in providing electricity to poor and wealthy countries alike, it is highly unlikely that global carbon-dioxide emissions will fall anytime soon.”
And here are their ‘key findings’:
“1. No viable substitutes can match the low cost and massive scale of electricity production that is now provided by coal-fired generators.
2. Coal remains an essential fuel to address “energy poverty,” the lack of access to modern energy services such as electricity and clean cooking fuels. From 1990 to 2010, some 832 million people gained access to electricity due to coal- fired generation, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries.
3. Given the continuing growth of coal, policymakers should promote deployment of advanced combustion technologies in new electricity- generation plants. Doing so will wring more electricity out of the fuel used and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced per kilowatt- hour of output.”
Wind energy uses an infinite and abundant source to generate electricity (the wind), with very little damage done to the environment in the process. Even though it is incredibly frustrating to see these stats, as renewables mature and costs continue to drop, I am hopeful that over time the world will more aggressively adopt them.