Clean Energy Revolution Is Ahead of Schedule
A couple of encouraging studies have been released that point toward quicker advancement toward renewable energy and a more sustainable future. A study in Nature Climate Change shows that electric vehicle batteries have been getting cheaper considerably faster than expected. From 2007 to 2011, average battery costs for battery-powered electric vehicles fell by about 14% a year. This incredible decline puts battery costs right around the level that the International Energy Agency predicted they would reach in 2020.
This is not the only piece of good energy news. The United Nations Environment Programme recently released a report that showed that global investment in renewable energy, rebounded to an all time high of $270 billion. The report also notes that since solar costs are falling so fast, the amount of renewable energy capacity added in 2014 was at an all time high. Renewable energy went from 8.5 percent to 9.1 percent of global electricity generation just in 2014.
These two trends together, notes Noah Smith, “will add up to nothing less than a revolution in the way humankind interacts with the planet and powers civilization.” Cheaper batteries mean cars that can switch from gasoline to the electrical grid. With cheap solar replacing coal at a rapid pace, and Tesla making major advancements in batteries for home electricity use, solar is now able to run your house and vehicles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This is poised to begin a dramatic transformation of human civilization, which will be moving exponentially faster in the next decade. That is great news, because cheap energy powers our economy, and clean energy will help reduce the global impact of climate change.