“Experts” Have Been Misleading People About Renewable Energy

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RenewEconomy

We’ve mentioned this before, but one of the striking patterns of behaviour in the energy industry over the last decade has been the ability of the “established” energy experts to completely underestimate the growth of renewable energy – and to overplay the credentials of fossil fuels.

As we have seen in Australia, this has been a costly exercise, resulting in massive over-investment in poles and wires, and in fossil fuel generation. Similar stories have been played out across the world.

So who is best at getting the forecasts right? This interesting graphic shows that the green NGOs – those accused in dealing in “fantasy” – are a lot closer to the mark, particularly when it comes down to forecasts for wind and solar capacity additions.

The graph below pretty much speaks for itself. Greenpeace has been a lot closer to reality than the International Energy Agency. Perhaps it also has a better grip on how quickly the world can move to a largely renewable-based energy system.

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graph of day greenpeace

RenewEconomy. Reproduced with permission.


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Giles Parkinson

is the founding editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia's energy grid with great interest.

Giles Parkinson has 596 posts and counting. See all posts by Giles Parkinson