Indian villagers, illegally scavenging coal from a nearby mine. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images)
Updated by david
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is out with its annual New Energy Outlook for 2016, forecasting global energy trends through 2040, focusing this year on electricity.
There’s lots to dig through, but the big story is familiar: Progress is occurring more rapidly than almost anyone forecast — global fossil fuel electricity use is expected to peak in 2025 and decline thereafter — but not rapidly enough to forestall 2 degrees of global warming. We’re going fast, but not fast enough.
That said, there are lots of interesting nuances and substories in the report. One of them reveals that India, not China, is becoming the key to global decarbonization.
Most of the big emitters have gotten a handle on their electricity systems, meaning that they are on track to phase out coal and (somewhat later) natural gas. They’re not doing it fast enough, but at least they are on the right trajectory. That’s even true for China, where just a few years ago analysts were saying that coal would dominate forever. Now there’s a post-2020 moratorium on new coal plants.