Energy disruption

This is a long video at 40 minutes, but it is a fascinating and fast-moving talk on the massive disruptions caused by wind and solar in the electrical power markets, as well as the disruption caused by batteries, tech, and electric vehicles in the oil markets.

There is no way that the CEOs and investors of US coal companies don’t know these statistics. They know that solar and wind are now equal in cost-per-kilowatt-hour to coal, and in the latest bids, far cheaper — even without subsidies. They know their industry will soon be made obsolete due to market pressures.

The current US administration’s behavior in stopping any attempt to regulate the amount of toxic metals (such as arsenic and mercury) that coal plants are allowed to dump in public waterways, and rolling back the Clean Power Plan while declaring “the war on coal is over,” is not about bringing coal jobs back. Those jobs are never coming back, and many more jobs will soon be lost. What those behaviors are really about is enriching the billionaire CEOs and investors. They are cashing out while they can, and they do not give one flying fig about American workers or the environment (national or global). Neither does the administration.

Meanwhile, other nations are going all in on what they can clearly see are the technologies and power sources of the near future. The statistic about China cancelling 104 planned coal power plants ($80 billion in investment) in January of this year is mind boggling. Forty of those plants had already broken ground. “At least $20 billion was just thrown away,” the presenter says, and why would China do that? The Chinese are nothing if not ruthlessly pragmatic.

The US under Trump is looking backward, filling the pockets of the mega-rich while hobbling the nation as other world players take the lead in technology and production. Our loss is the world’s gain, though — and watching this video is one of the most uplifting moments I’ve had this year. It gives me hope.

(Hat tip to TYWKIWDBI.)


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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