It’s never long before fans of fracking point to climate change and claim it can only be tackled by replacing dirty old coal with new gas. They say they’re in favour of renewable energy but it’s growing too slowly to help us now, so gas is a 'necessary' stopgap.
This is the argument that gas is a ‘transition fuel’ en route to the low carbon economy of renewables and energy efficiency. Predictably enough it’s a line the gas industry just loves. To be fair, it’s also what plenty of reasonable people, including a lot of greenies, spent the past decade or two repeating. If you thought that too you were in good company. But times change eh? We live, we learn.
Here are three reasons why the ‘transition fuel’ argument for new gas is well past retirement age.
First up, the age of renewables and energy efficiency has arrived. We’re in it. Now.
Portugal recently went 4 days powering its grid entirely on renewables, Germany very nearly achieving the same . The G20 club of richest economies sourced 70 per cent more power from Renewables in 2015 than 2010 . Of those, Germany’s secured more than a third while the UK, France, Italy and the EU as a whole provided for a fifth of their electricity from green sources.
As the Renewables industry takes off the cost of solar power and wind energy has plummeted, and continues to tumble, all over the world. Meanwhile we’re getting more and more efficient with how we use energy, the most obvious example being the roll-out of ultra-low energy LED lighting. The greening of the global grid is happening at such a pace that it’s destroying what was once seen as an insatiable and ever-growing global market for gas and coal.Read more