Renewables and Climate Policy Are On A Collision Course

By John Constable – Re-Blogged From GWPF

Those advocating climate change mitigation policy have hitherto wagered everything on the success of renewable energy technologies. The steadily accumulating data on energy and emissions over the period of intense policy commitment suggests that this gamble has not been successful. Pragmatic environmentalists will be asking whether sentimental attachment to wind and solar is standing in the way of an effective emissions reduction trajectory.

For almost as long as there has been a climate policy, emissions reduction has been seen as dependent on the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. Policies supporting this outcome are ubiquitous in the developed and developing world; markets have been coerced globally, with varying degrees of severity it is true, but with extraordinary force in the OECD states, and particularly in the European Union. The net result of several decades of such measures has been negligible. Consider, for example the global total primary energy mix since 1971, as recorded in the International Energy Agency datasets, the most recent discussion of which has just been published in the World Energy Outlook (2018):

Figure 1: Global Total Primary Energy Supply: 1971–2015. Source: Redrawn by the author from International Energy Agency, Key World Energy Statistics 2017 and 2018. IEA Notes: 1. World includes international aviation and international marine bunkers. 2. Peat and oil shale are aggregated with coal. 3. “Other” Includes geothermal, solar, wind, tide/wave/ocean, heat and other.

Continue reading