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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Will our fossil fuel addiction still overshadow renewable energy?

I think by now, most people have accepted that global warming or climate change or whatever you want to call it is real and caused by the actions of humans. Numerous reviews of peer-reviewed scientific research have shown that about 97 percent or more of the people who are the most knowledgeable on the subject agree with that.

The real arguments now are what do about it, when and/or whether they will get done, and what will happen if the right actions aren't done.

A key part of those arguments involves the reduction of fossil fuel usage and the increased usage of renewable energy sources. However, a recent report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy will add considerable fire to that discussion.

According to the EIA, renewables are getting cheaper and more widely used across the world than ever before. However, and this is a significant point, the use of coal, oil, and natural gas, along with a growing world-wide population, is also still growing. As a result, the EIA says that world-wide fossil fuel demand will continue to increase for the next three decades.

Photo: California Air Resources Board, Fair Use

A recent news article on (see link below) about the EIA report describes the reason for this as being an addiction to fossil fuels. According to the article, although the growth of wind and solar power will outpace other forms of energy, that pace will not be sufficient to overcome increased energy demand. Renewables provided about 12 percent of all energy in 2012. However, in 2040, fossil fuels will still be providing about 78 percent of the world's energy. Furthermore, oil, coal, and natural gas will each have larger shares of the world energy market than all renewables combined.

Here's a link to the article, which is full of some sobering statistics and what will happen as a result of this addiction to fossil fuels:

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