Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Clean Energy Transition Is Unstoppable, So Why Fight It?

The Flames of Hope (Credit: exalthim/Flickr) Click to enlarge.
The transition from fossil fuels to solar, distributed generation resources, and renewables won't be easy, but energy analyst Chris Nelder chooses to stoke the flames of hope:

When I wrote my Feb. 28 post on the energy transition tipping point, it seemed a bold call to make because I hadn't heard anyone else say that the transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewables had become irreversible. 

Apparently, however, that thesis struck a chord.  That's another reason that I choose to focus on the positive outcomes of the switchover, rather than the growing pains we're bound to experience as a result.

The chorus of those talking up the inevitable transition is filled with diverse voices — ranging from utilities to investment banks to other analysts.

Within days of my February article, CEO Peter Terium of the German utility RWE, called the clean energy transition in the electricity markets "unstoppable" and "irreversible."

Investment bank Morgan Stanley was next. The bank's early-March report apparently shocked investors by saying the utility business was undergoing massive disruption and that falling costs of solar power and battery storage would encourage consumers to defect from the grid.  “There may be a 'tipping point' that causes customers to seek an off-grid approach,” the report noted.  “The more customers move to solar, the remaining utility customer bill will rise, creating even further 'headroom' for Tesla’s off-grid approach.”

The Clean Energy Transition Is Unstoppable, So Why Fight It? - by Chris Nelder

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