Rocky Mountain Institute: Don't Worry, Be Happy...

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Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
Jan 27, 2008
Well, our techno-optimist friends at the Rocky Mountain Institute are still at it, and dropped a 52 page report about the current state of the global green energy revolution.

You can read it free here:

The major findings are:

—The costs of these technologies are at or below the levelized cost of ownership (LCO), meaning they are good investments. Some are so far below the LCO in some markets that they are no brainer investments and growing explosively.
—Total global fossil energy demand is on a 'bumpy plateau', not rising.
—The global trends in green tech (renewable energy, batteries, EVs, heat pumps, etc) are still growing on an 'S curve' that you often see for new technologies that reach low cost.
—The process is global, not driven by US policy... in fact the US is lagging the transition, and China is leading it.
—The IRA in the US is projected to maintain US green tech adoption on its prior exponential growth to 2030, versus dropping to linear growth without it. EU has a similar suite of policies with similar effect.
—For example, solar installations in 2023 were about 400 GW capacity, or electricity production similar to 80 1000 MW nuclear power plants. This rate is expected to rise to about 1000 GW (or 200 1000 MW nuke plants) per year, by 2032.
—Extrapolating the S-curves forward leads to a collapse in fossil fuel demand. The associated CO2 reduction path lies between the 1.5°C and 2.0°C increase scenarios, closer to the former!
—There are no significant mineral limitations to the adoption of this tech. High demand for the tech has flattened out the prior drop in costs. But now production is booming to compensate. This is all normal.
—Fossil fuel pollution is responsible for 8 million premature deaths per year, 20% of the total. This can be reduced significantly in the next decade.

In other words...

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I just came across this report separately, and without delving in too deeply, it does look encouraging to me, especially as related to the economic factors driving the trends. As many have alluded to here, economics will ultimately determine the outcome.
Press release link with summary of findings:

Rocky Mountain Institute: Don't Worry, Be Happy...
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Our techno-optimist blogger Noah Smith has made a fun post about humanity's epochal switch from combustion technology to electrical technology, motivated by the RMI report I posted above.

I post this from an 'all electric house', HVAC and DHW by >10 year old ASHPs with a BEV in the garage and an induction cooktop.

I still burn wood for ambiance, backup and to help out in the coldest 6 weeks of the winter, roughly Jan 1 to Feb 15. :)
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