Renewable Energy Is Suddenly Startlingly Cheap

We’re experiencing an extraordinary technology transformation: Solar and wind can now provide virtually limitless energy, using existing technology. Fossil fuels are — well — fossils. Obsolete.

According to the London think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative, as reported by Bill McKibben, in The New Yorker:

“… ‘solar and wind potential is far higher than that of fossil fuels and can meet global energy demand many times over.’ Taken by itself, that’s not a very bold claim: scientists have long noted that the sun directs more energy to the Earth in an hour than humans use in a year. But, until very recently, it was too expensive to capture that power. That’s what has shifted—and so quickly and so dramatically that most of the world’s politicians are now living on a different planet than the one we actually inhabit.”

Using current technology, we can capture more than 100 times global energy demand from solar and wind, using 0.3% of global land area for solar panels alone — less than the land required for fossil fuels today, which in the US alone is 1.3% of the country.

“These are the kinds of numbers that reshape your understanding of the future.”