The Energy Transformation
- We are experiencing a major change in the way electricity is manufactured and distributed.
- Renewable sources for generating and storing electricity have gotten to the point where in some installations the entire cost of renewable energy—capital and operating costs– is less per Kwh than the operating cost alone of fossil fuel power stations. This remarkable change began in the late 1990’s and has accelerated. It is likely to continue.
- Technological changes have contributed to this cost decline, as have manufacturing efficiencies and increases in volume. This is likely to continue, increasing the cost advantage of renewables, especially solar, over existing 20th century generation technologies.
- One particularly helpful by-product of this change is that electric transportation is benefiting from the improvements in energy storage. The change from gasoline and diesel powered cars and trucks to ones driven by electricity from renewable sources will not be immediate, but its impact will be crucial especially true as more people in the developing world purchase and use such vehicles.
- Educating citizens and policy makers to this surprising turn of events is an important mission. The changes in the power system are in the long run inevitable, but bad policy can slow the process, and good policy can enhance it. The more voters are educated to the potential and can press for action, the more likely the political system is to support positive policies.
- Whether and how much human activity contributes to global warming remains politically contentious, but the change away from fossil fuels and toward a renewables-led energy system is positive in many regards: lower electricity cost, expansion of electricity to areas where it is currently unavailable, lower traditional air and water emissions, lower GHG emissions, more consumer choice, and more system resiliency.
WHAT WE DO
Our education activities include speaking to a variety of audiences about the change we see happening, strategies to accelerate the change and to benefit from it, as well as writing and publishing articles and other material explaining this change.