Difference between revisions of "How quickly can we build clean energy?"

From ScienceForSustainability
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 1: Line 1:
[[Category:Renewable energy]]
[[Category:Renewable energy]]

Revision as of 03:53, 15 February 2020

How quickly can we build the clean energy plants we need to decarbonise our energy (especially electricity) generation?

One can put solar panels on the roof of a house and connect it into the grid in a day, a wind turbine in a few weeks or months. A new nuclear power station can take over a decade to build. But the rooftop solar installation produces a few kilowatts (when the sun is shining); the turbine a few megawatts (when the wind is blowing), and the nuclear station produces gigawatts (24*7, almost 52 weeks a year). How can we compare them?

One way is to look at how fast countries have been able to build clean electricity generating capacity per person in that country. Janne Korhonen has done that, using data from the B.P. Statistical Review, to create this chart (from Korhonen and Partanen's book Climate Gamble)

Best increase in electricity generation over 15 years (Climate Gamble).jpeg

Is this a fair representation or has the data been selected to favour nuclear energy? Korhonen discusses this in the article accompanying this graphic on their website.