Emissions Rose in 2017    Despite Record Solar & Wind

Further Proof Renewables Can’t Save The Climate

Carbon emissions are on the rise despite record-breaking deployment of renewables, according to new BP Energy data released today.

“Despite the extraordinary growth in renewables in recent years,” said BP, “and the huge policy efforts to encourage a shift away from coal into cleaner, lower carbon fuels, there has been almost no improvement in the power sector fuel mix over the past 20 years.”

The data is further evidence that dilute and unreliable sources of energy like solar and wind cannot replace coal and other fossil fuels and will not lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions.

Coal grew one percent in 2017 — its first growth since 2013. For the last few years, energy analysts had speculated that we had reached “peak coal,” thanks to abundant cheap natural gas.

Natural gas consumption grew three percent globally and a whopping 15 percent in China in 2017.

The last few years have seen huge amounts of hype about India’s investment in solar, but according to BP, the global rise in coal consumption came mostly from India, and to a lesser extent, China

And, “despite all the talk of peak oil demand, increasing car efficiency, growth of electrical vehicles,” BP notes, oil consumption grew 50 percent faster in 2017 than its decade-long average.

The growth of coal and natural gas was enough to wipe out any emissions reductions from wind and solar, which grew 17 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

Wind and solar account for just just six percent of total electricity globally, despite decades of subsidies. The growth of fossil fuels was enough to wipe out any emissions reductions from wind and solar, which grew 17 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), public and private actors spent $1.1 trillion on solar and over $900 billion on wind between 2007 and 2016. According to BNEF, global investment in these clean 10 energies hovered at about $300 billion per year between 2010 and 2016.

To put this roughly $2 trillion in investment in solar and wind during the past 10 years in perspective, it represents an amount of similar magnitude to the global investment in nuclear over the past 54 years, which totals about $1.8 trillion.

Environmental Progress was the first environmental organization to alert the world about the impact that declining nuclear power as a share of global electricity was having on efforts to deal with climate change.

For decades, renewable energy advocates have insisted that solar and wind could make up for the loss of nuclear. The new BP Energy data is further proof that they cannot.

Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress. Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment.”


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