Clean energy vs. oil


 When oil prices fall, low-carbon sources of energy such as wind and solar power may seem less attractive to investors, creating doubts about the pace of the world’s transition to clean energy.

Some renewable energy projects which aren’t completely bedded down are certainly … delayed but at the same time, (the low oil price takes) off the market very expensive oil projects. Tar sands and exploration in the Arctic have become less attractive due to the oil price crash. [1]

In the long term, few experts foresee oil remaining at its current lows for more than a year or two. Unlike oil, the price of renewables is predictable and always going down. Solar power will be as cheap as, or cheaper than, electricity from the grid in as much as 80 percent of global markets by the end of 2017, according to Deutsche Bank’s Shah. [2]

Furthermore, low oil prices do not undermine the growth of alternative power sources because oil is used primarily for transportation and not to produce electricity, whereas renewables play an increasing role in producing electricity. In other words, oil and renewables are not direct competitors. [3]

oil & renewables

Instead, solar competes with coal, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear power. Solar, the newest to the mix, makes up less than 1 percent of the electricity market today but will be the world’s biggest single source by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.. 

Solar … only recently entered the marketplace, at a very high price. Prices are falling so fast that solar will soon undercut even the cheapest fossil fuels, coal and natural gas. In the few places oil and solar compete directly, oil doesn’t stand a chance.   

In many countries, pump prices haven’t dropped as much as oil prices. Countries that include China, have pocketed the savings from cheaper oil by increasing gasoline taxes to make up the difference.

A number of countries, including India and Indonesia, have used the price drop as cover to cut gasoline subsidies that were weighing down their budgets 

Fossil-fuel subsidies outpace renewable-energy subsidies by a factor of 6 to 1. Reducing the subsidy gap is one of the cheapest ways to increase fuel efficiency and speed up the switch to cleaner energy.  

Conventional wisdom says cheap oil is an existential threat to electric vehicles (but) since 2010 there’s been no relationship between (oil) price and electric vehicle sales, according to BNEF analyst Alejandro Zamorano Cadavid.

 Electric vehicles are moving like a Tesla: quietly, but with great acceleration. (In 2017), Chevy and Tesla plan to release the first affordable mass-market plug-ins with a range of (400+ kilometres) per charge. (When) the price of fuel mightbe a real consideration for car buyers … it’s more likely to tip the scales toward EVs, not away from them. electric car

Global investment in clean energy increased 16 percent (in 2014), to $310 billion, according to data compiled by BNEF. The U.S. and China, the world’s biggest emitters, reached a historic deal in November to rein in greenhouse gases. Pope Francis is preparing a papal encyclical on climate change, a letter to the world’s bishops that will formalize the church’s moral position on the issue for 1.2 billion Catholics.  

National policies to reduce carbon pollution would speed up the adoption of clean energy. [2]

Rederences:                                                                                           1. (January 22nd, 2015)

2. (January 31,2015)

3. (January 15, 2015)



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