The Economist, in this week’s edition, has a remarkably optimistic take on the global energy picture:
Wind power is taking on natural gas, which has risen in price in sympathy with oil. Wind is closing in on the price of coal, as well. Solar energy is a few years behind, but the most modern systems already promise wind-like prices. Indeed, both industries are so successful that manufacturers cannot keep up, and supply bottlenecks are forcing prices higher than they otherwise would be. It would help if coal—the cheapest fuel for making electricity—were taxed to pay for the climate-changing effects of the carbon dioxide produced when it burns, but even without such a tax, some ambitious entrepreneurs are already talking of alternatives that are cheaper than coal.
The paper is optimistic that a fundamental change in energy is coming soon, but admits that this change may not come in time to reduce CO2 emissions to a safe level…but says that is “moot.”
Not sure why.