There Has Never Been An Energy Transition

It is widely believed, I think, that we are in the midst of an energy transition from fossil fuels to “green” energy sources. But, for better or worse–I think it’s just fine–that isn’t the case. At Watts Up With That? David Middleton offers charts that indicate no such transition is in progress. This one shows worldwide energy consumption in million tons oil equivalent. As you can see, the contributions of “green” energy sources (wind and solar) continue to be trivial. Click to enlarge:

I would add that this chart actually overstates the contributions of wind and solar. Those sources are used almost entirely because of government subsidies and mandates. In many cases, they are more trouble than they are worth to operators of the grid, who in the end have to rely on reliable energy sources in any event.

This chart is even more striking. It shows the contributions of various forms of energy in percentage terms. Middleton writes: “To the extent that ‘renewables’ are replacing anything, it’s mostly been nuclear power.” Once again, click to enlarge:

It is indeed a fossil fueled world.


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