The energy transition takes decades, not years

The energy transition takes decades, not years


Yves came yesterday and we exchanged views on how ending all subsidies for carbon-generating energy will greatly accelerate the reduction in energy use and the transition to clean energy. Other readers pointed out that most consumers would collapse with more than US$12 of gasoline in the pump; the counterargument was to take away the money previously used to subsidize households with less than US$75,000 in income.

The following article takes a “business as usual” stance and assumes that officials are more concerned with maintaining the current normal state rather than taking effective actions to disrupt consumers’ lifestyles. It is not difficult to see that this view will prevail until we have catastrophic consequences, such as real food and water shortages. Check out our response to Covid. As Damien Contandriopoulos wrote:

Most jurisdictions in Western countries have adopted a “balanced containment” strategy against COVID. This method is characterized by balancing the number of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths on the one hand, and balancing the economic and social damage caused by strict infection control measures such as lockdowns on the other hand (Oliu-Barton et al., 2021)…

… It soon became clear that most Western state-run public health bureaucracies — as well as international public health institutions such as the World Health Organization — actively defended the original false theory about the spread of COVID after a reasonably long time. Public health agencies are not committed to formulating and communicating evidence-based COVID prevention strategies, but find themselves hindering and actively contradicting scientific development in this field (Greenhalgh, Ozbilgin, and Contandriopoulos, 2021)…

During the same period, the focus of the containment strategy has changed. Economic participants affected by the lockdown and infection control measures have succeeded in persuading many governments to slowly promote the balance of containment strategies, moving towards more lenient infection control measures and accepting higher infection rates. The reference point for balanced containment strategies has gradually shifted from minimizing cases to optimizing intensive care bed occupancy rates close to or above 100%. The combination of outdated and misguided infection prevention advice and loose restrictions has fueled an increasing wave of cases.

At the same time—unsurprisingly—the balanced containment strategy proved to be very unfair. The incidence of COVID and the relative risk of death are highly correlated with income, social status, and ethnic status…

At the time of writing this review, these disconnects have become too deep to hide. Compared with trying to correct the deficiencies on the record, it seems that more efforts have been made in controlling political rotation and rationing available information (Daflos, 2021; Thomas & Gervais, 2021)…

Somewhere last year, public health lost its soul. The goal of promoting individual and collective health and well-being has become inferior to controversial economic growth indicators and radical utilitarianism about the value of human life.

Shorter: Covid has confirmed that advanced economies are unwilling to change their operating models to adequately respond to emergencies. Climate change is a more complex issue than Covid.

Author: Tsvetana Paraskova, a writer at, has more than ten years of writing experience in news media such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.Originally published on Oil price

  • Natural gas, coal, and oil prices have all soared this summer, and it’s clear that a successful energy transition will take decades, not years.
  • Some energy transition supporters may confuse the destruction of Covid’s energy demand with changes in consumer behavior
  • The fact is that the energy transition can only be achieved if clean energy can be provided cheaply and reliably

The global demand for all three fossil fuels this year sent a message to over-enthusiastic supporters of the energy transition– Stay calm.

Those who predicted the demise of oil, natural gas, and coal after the pandemic last year, and those who said that the peak in oil demand has passed, are now facing reality because of lasting changes in consumer behavior that will reduce the use of crude oil.

Global oil demand is only a few months away from pre-pandemic levels, while demand for natural gas and coal has exceeded the demand in 2019.

Of course, international air travel is still struggling due to COVID-related travel restrictions imposed by many countries/regions. But the economy is rebounding, industry is growing, and the world needs a lot of energy again.

Fossil fuels support economic growth

Fossil fuels continue to provide most of the energy, and will do so in the next few years. The decline in fossil fuel consumption last year is being erased, and those who expected that oil, gas, and coal demand will never return to levels before COVID, now know they were wrong.

It is also wrong for all those who hope that the “rebuild green” policy promised by the government last year will suddenly cause solar, wind, biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, and hydrogen to replace energy from fossil fuels overnight.

The economy is recovering after the COVID, and consumer habits have not changed much: consumers still want a warm home, electricity, the latest technological products, and the freedom to travel and spend money.

For example, with the exception of part of the renewable energy used to generate electricity, solar and wind energy do not really provide energy and everything that consumers buy. Fossil fuel can. They will continue to do this for at least a decade, until the energy transition-including industries other than power generation-accelerates.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the share of renewable energy in power generation continues to rise, but renewable energy cannot meet the rebounding power demand Said In July.

The IEA also stated that if the world is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, it should now stop investing in new oil, natural gas and coal supplies.

However, today, Europe’s most developed economies and Asia’s fastest-growing developing economies—China and India—are both experiencing firsthand what undersupply in the coal and natural gas markets means: energy commodities and electricity supply prices are very high. And industries that shut down due to power or natural gas shortages.

Coal and natural gas demand rebounded to pre-epidemic levels

The economic recovery after COVID has boosted the demand for oil, coal and natural gas, and the consumption of coal and natural gas has exceeded the level before the pandemic. Therefore, the record decline in global emissions since 2020 has also been erased, creating another problem for the global fight against climate change.

On average, coal demand fell by 4% last year—the largest decline since World War II—but by the end of 2020, it had returned to pre-pandemic levels. IEA Say.

“Coal use in the fourth quarter was 3.5% higher than in the same period in 2019, leading to a rebound in global carbon dioxide emissions,” Carlos Fernández Alvarez, senior energy analyst at the International Energy Agency, said in March Wrote in the comments.

This year, coal demand rebounded strongly in 2021, driven by the power sector, the agency Said In the April 2021 Global Energy Review. According to data from the International Energy Agency, natural gas demand is also rebounding, which is expected to eliminate losses in 2020 and push demand to 1.3% above the 2019 level estimate In the same comment.

Oil demand will reach 2019 levels within a few months

Oil demand is also expected to reach and exceed 2019 levels soon.Many analysts and oil companies believe that global oil demand will return to pre-crisis levels in 2019 Early next year at the earliestIf not earlier, by the end of 2021. According to OPEC’s latest estimate, global oil demand in 2022 will average 100.8 million barrels per day, which will exceed the level before COVID.

If the conversion of natural gas to oil becomes more common, the current natural gas, coal and electricity crises in Europe and Asia will also accelerate the recovery of oil demand in the winter.

By early 2022, the demand for all fossil fuels is expected to reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, which highlights the challenges of the energy transition to ensure reliable and best affordable energy for the world.

“Energy transition and decarbonization is a ten-year strategy that will not happen overnight,” Cuneyt Kazokoglu, head of oil demand analysis at consulting firm FGE, told Reuters.

Kazokoglu said that the decline in fossil fuel demand last year had nothing to do with the energy transition: it was related to the lockdown and economic recession.

A hasty transition that does not consider the huge role that fossil fuels still play in the economy and consumer lifestyles may put the global energy market at risk of tight supply and soaring prices.

“The price of fossil fuels will remain volatile and may be more volatile than they are today, because in a shrinking market, the reason for further investment is weak and the risk of supply and demand imbalance is greater, which may produce a short-term rebound,” Nikos based in Washington James R. Schlesinger, Chairman of Energy and Geopolitics of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Tsafos, wrote in an article. Comment last month.

Tsafos pointed out that the prices of commodities critical to the energy transition—such as the key metals lithium, cobalt, nickel or copper—are also prone to fluctuations.

The energy transition will not be smooth sailing and will take decades. At the same time, fossil fuels will continue to support the global economy and energy supply security.

Even the International Energy Agency, although Say A well-managed energy transition will be a solution to the current natural gas and electricity crisis, not a problem, admitting that “the connection between electricity and natural gas markets will not disappear anytime soon. Natural gas is still an important tool for balancing electricity markets in many regions today.”

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