There Is No Power Transition, Simply Power Addition

Whereas wind and solar energy are taking a bigger piece out of a rising world main power pie, fossil fuels are anticipated to have extra absolute development by 2050.

#power #oilgas #oilandgas #renewableenergy #solarenergy #windenergy

By: Leen Weijers, VP Engineering, Liberty Power

As Liberty Power CEO Chris Wright defined in his viral video a couple of weeks in the past, dishonest terminology surrounds the local weather debate.  One in every of these phrases is “Power Transition”.  The time period’s use gives the look that there exists a fast, simple and scalable different to get rid of fossil gasoline use with out severe impression on folks. 

Present main power distribution by supply, and forecasts by organizations just like the EIA of their Worldwide Power Outlook 2021, present that this “power transition” is non-existent.  As you may see within the title graph above, and in addition in Liberty’s ESG report on Bettering Human Lives, no current amount of main power generated by oil or fuel is presently changed by renewables.  A few headlines from the report that you just don’t hear rather a lot:

  • World main power use is about to develop by virtually 50% between 2020 – 2050 as impoverished folks rise from poverty;
  • Oil consumption rises in all EIA situations. Of their “Reference Situation”, oil consumption rises at about 1 million bopd/yr for the subsequent 30 years, virtually the identical regular yearly enhance of the final 5 a long time;
  • Pure fuel consumption will proceed to development by 2050.

The rationale for this development is straightforward: fossil fuels are considerable, low-cost and environment friendly to offer dependable and dense power at scale.  They’ve helped to generate a quality-of-life revolution for a portion of humanity, and folks in poverty who’ve missed out on this blessing rightfully need what you and I have already got.

Sadly, few report on this blessing we take without any consideration. Excellent news about renewables breaking information, nevertheless, is widespread and sometimes inflated.  There are a couple of advertising methods renewable advocates have used that make it seem as if renewables have a bigger market share than they actually have:

First, utilizing the phrase “power” or “energy” once they imply “electrical energy”.  Take this Reuters report for instance: “Renewable power is predicted to account for round 46% of German energy consumption this yr….” This appears like Germans are operating on renewables for nearly half of their power wants.  However that is JUST for electrical energy.  In response to the BP Statistical Evaluate and graphed under by for world electrical energy vs main energy, worldwide electrical energy represents solely 17% of all main energy.  That’s additionally the place is presently stands in Germany. In 2021, Germany’s high three main power sources had been oil, pure fuel and coal. 

Second, reporting renewable information with out mentioning they solely final a short while.  For instance, this text boasts renewables powering 85% of Germany’s electrical energy wants.  However just like the electrical energy main energy sources reported within the plot under reported by Timera Power, information in wind and photo voltaic don’t final very lengthy, and there are occasions once they don’t present something in any respect.  Fossil fuels are there to again them up – you’re welcome.  Power reliability is a marathon, not a dash.

Third, reporting energy capability, not power output. Renewables actually shine utilizing this metric as a result of they don’t work more often than not.  If in case you have ever frolicked in western Europe, you’ll know that the solar there, like most Europeans, solely has a 32-hour work week, whereas it provides little heads up when it would present up.  What to do throughout the remaining 136 hours that week? You could construct lots of energy capability to reap a little bit power.  As per BP Statistical Evaluate, the world capability issue is simply 14% for photo voltaic and 26% for wind.  Subsequently, in the event you see a historic energy capability development curve, divide the photo voltaic curve’s slope by 7 and the wind curve’s slope by 4 to get power output.  Shoppers pay for MWh, not MW.

Lastly, lumping in “conventional biofuels” to spice up the share of renewables as a part of complete power wants.  These conventional biofuels kill thousands and thousands of individuals yearly by PM2.5 particle launch throughout indoor cooking.  If there’s a “transition” humanity wants ASAP, it’s the transition from the normal renewable cooking fuels to clean-burning fossil cooking fuels.

These unfair reporting methodologies have led to confusion and a perception that an “Power Transition” is presently within the making.  It’s not.

The EIA main power forecast for the subsequent 30 years reveals that ALL sources of power are rising. Whereas renewables declare a bigger fraction of a rising pie, fossil fuels are anticipated to develop quicker in absolute phrases.

Not too long ago, a spark of sanity has returned to the controversy about nuclear energy.  For a dependable, cost-effective, low-carbon and scalable power transition, we have to take the trail proposed by Robert Bryce in his guide Energy Hungry.  Within the near-term, we want extra pure fuel, which reduces our CO2 footprint and is affordable, dependable and considerable.  For the long-term, we have to construct nuclear power, hopefully ultimately nuclear fusion. Earlier than that, let’s hope a spark of sanity returns to the dialogue concerning the “Power Transition”.


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