Next energy revolution to happen in a decade
According to the Sussex Energy Group, a leading UK think tank, the global dependence on fossil fuels will reduce drastically leading to their eventual phase out in less than a decade. This energy revolution of elimination of fossil fuels will take substantially lower time than had been taken in the past. The study was published in the journal of Energy Research and Social Science.
What are fossil fuels?
Fossil fuels are buried geological deposits of organic material which had been subject to intense pressure and heat inside the earth. Fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, petroleum products, etc. are an important source of energy for humans.
G7 leaders pledge to phase out fossil fuels
The G7 leaders had earlier pledged to phase out fossils by the end of the 21st century and begin the de-carbonisation of the global economy within this century. The move, though welcomed by environmentalists, was also criticised for its lack of will in accepting any binding agreements. The G7 also agreed on limiting the rise in global temperature by 2 degrees over pre-industrial levels.
Sussex Energy Group: A profile
The Sussex Energy Group is a specialist research group at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex in UK, that undertakes interdisciplinary research with an aim to assess the transition to sustainable low-carbon energy solutions.
Energy transitions in the past
Although the study acknowledges that the transition from wood to coal took 96-160 years and electricity took 47-69 years to enter into mainstream use, it also points out various other transitions that happened at a much faster pace. Indonesia took 3 years to move 2/3rd of its population from Kerosene to LPG. Similarly, Ontario eliminated coal usage between 2003 to 2014.
Drivers of change
The scarcity of resources, the threat of climate change, greatly improved technological know-how and innovations would propel the world towards cleaner energy away from conventional fossil fuels. Taking examples from the past the report mentions various factors that can accelerate the transition. These factors include strong government intervention, a shift in consumer behavior, incentives and pressure from stakeholders, among others.
Requirements for the change
"Moving to a new, cleaner energy system would require significant shifts in technology, political regulations, tariffs and pricing regimes, and the behaviour of users and adopters."- Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Sussex Energy Group.