Offshore wind power is faltering, local resistance to “Big Wind and Big Solar” is mounting, and electric vehicles are clearly struggling. But Ed Ballard of the Wall Street Journal says that policy-makers, including the International Energy Agency, are missing the enormity of the investment in alternative energy. “Last year, more than four-fifths of the world’s new power capacity was renewables,” he said, citing the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Ballard presents charts showing that solar and wind capacity are going up, electric vehicle production is going up, and venture capital funding is going up. He writes:
“Subsidies drove early growth in wind and solar, then technology refinements and large-scale manufacturing made them cheap. Lithium-ion batteries which power cars and store electricity on the grid, plunged in price, too.”
And: “It is also easy to underestimate the pace of change.”
Caveats (mine): While prices of battery technology have gone down, and venture capital funding is up, the dramatic growth in solar, wind, and EVs comes primarily in the form of forecasts.
The Wall Street Journal editors may have been a little skeptical, too. The print headline is “Renewable-Energy Growth Explodes”; online it is the more modest “Now for Some Good News about Climate.” (The story is behind a paywall.)