Opportunity for progress: large-scale investement in renewable energy NOW

Max Roser, founder of Our World in Data, has written an article that I think everyone should read and share with others. The article states that the price of renewable energy sources has fallen spectacularly in the past ten years. He explains why this has happened and that we have a great opportunity to take a big step forward in the energy transition. Below is a summary of the article.

Renewable energy has become cheaper than fossil 

Today, fossil fuels still dominate the global power supply. The reason is that until recently, electricity from fossil fuels was much cheaper than from renewable energy sources. For the energy transition to succeed, it is necessary for carbon-free electricity to become cheaper than carbon-rich electricity. 

And this is happening now. In most places in the world, power from new renewable energy sources is now cheaper than power from new fossil fuels. This is shown in the graph below:

Learning curves: the more widely deployed, the faster the price will fall

The reason for this spectacular fall in the price of renewable energy is that there are learning curves for renewable energy. As a result, the price of renewable energy continues to fall by applying it on an increasingly large scale. This can be seen in the graph below.

Needed: large-scale investment in renewable energy NOW

Because there are no such learning curves for electricity from fossil fuels, the price difference will only widen in the future (in favor of renewable energy).  

Roser therefore argues for rapid large-scale investment in scaling up renewable energy technologies. Thus, the price decline will accelerate. This will cause energy prices to fall and people's real incomes to rise, including for people in the poorest regions of the world. It will also make the energy transition a reality as soon as possible.

Read the article

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