October, 2020 marked the end of an era: The world’s largest solar and wind power generator, the US utility NextEra, surpassed ExxonMobil – literally the embodiment of Big Oil’s recklessness and once the most valuable company on earth – in stock market worth: It took a pandemic to show the markets that the time for clean energy and clean air is right now, and here we are.
Major announcements around new renewable energy plans were being made in the same period that NextEra was eclipsing ExxonMobil: Apparently, oil companies including Total, Shell and BP and oil traders including Vitol, Trafigura and Mercuria are intending to unleash hundreds of billions of dollars in new investments in renewable energy and battery storage.
In this episode, The Angry Clean Energy Guy attempts to weigh the depth, breadth and sustainability of the wall of money about to pour into clean energy and to assess the implications on Big Oil’s future and on renewable energy markets around the world.
Indonesia, population 270m and basking in abundant sunshine most of the year while stretched across the Equator, has less installed solar power capacity (198MW) than Finland (215MW), an Arctic country with just 5.5m people.
That’s one of the reasons South East Asia remains the global laggard on renewable energy while at the same time threatening to set the world on fire through the world’s last great expansion in coal and gas infrastructure.
But the resistance of powerful vested interests in ASEAN to renewable energy, transport sector electrification, fighting the plastic pandemic and investing less in fossil fuels can’t last: The clean energy revolution is poised to steamroll fossil fuels in South East Asia too, as the cost of renewables continues to plunge and the climate emergency accelerates.
I am sharing good news on this podcast: Natural gas is done in 10 years. Certainly in Europe. Give it another 5 years on top and it will also be done in Asia and in the US too. It’s going the same way as coal. Why? In short, because the information fog is lifting after decades of obfuscation: We now know it’s about as dirty as coal. Whoever named it “Natural Gas” instead of “Highly Explosive Climate Change Accelerating Fossil Fuel Gas” deserves a branding award.