THE GREAT TRANSITION FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO SOLAR AND WINDThe worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way.
The Evolving Energy Transition
In the United States, the energy transition can be seen in the hundreds of utility-scale power plants under development or construction in the Southwest. Iowa and South Dakota are each generating at least 26 percent of their electricity from wind farms. The share in Iowa could reach half by 2018.
Falling costs for solar and wind energy are opening the door for massive investments in Africa. Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that there would be more renewable energy installations in Africa in 2014 than during the preceding 14 years.
Drivers of the Transition
Winners and Losers
A New Worldview
Our relationship with the natural world will change from one where we are in conflict with nature to one where we are again in sync with it. Instead of seeing ourselves apart from nature, we will see ourselves as an integral part of the natural system. Smokestacks that dirty the air and alter the climate will be replaced by solar panels residing on our rooftops and fields of wind turbines turning gracefully in the wind.
Lester R. Brown is author of The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy with Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams (W.W. Norton & Co., NY: 2015).