Gas, solar and China winners as Trump stalks off pitch and quits Paris accord

President Donald Trump announces that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate change accord, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

On the same day that President Donald Trump confirmed his intention to pull the US out of the Paris accord on climate change, a report released on the opening day of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum predicts that China will emerge as the dominant energy producer in the next century, and that the world’s reliance on oil and coal will start to diminish rapidly in 50 years time. Gas, on the other hand, will retain its key position for much longer.
“Natural gas, along with renewables, are the big winners in the race to meet energy demand growth at least until the year 2040,” predicts Michael Graetzel, Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and one of the authors of  Global Energy of the Future: Perspectives and Development of the World Fuel and Energy Balance. “In the next 15 to 90 years we shall see a phasing out of coal and oil. Natural gas will replace these fossil resources since it has the least effect on global warming and is still abundantly available”.
In the long run, however, solar power is likely to emerge as the ultimate winner with the report predicting that it will constitute more than 25% of the total energy balance by  2100. “Our  analysis predicts that technological innovations and new business models will reduce the costs of producing electricity from renewable mini-grids by more than 60% in the next two decades,” says Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), member of the International Global Energy Award Committee. “Our study on the Solar Photovoltaic System (PV) in Africa finds that small PV systems for single households can now provide basic electricity services for as little as  $56 a year, a cost similar or lower to diesel fired generation or kerosene-based conventional lighting.”
The report also predicts that, while the US will  become the world’s major energy resources producer in 15 years, it will be overtaken by Russian in 50 years’ time which will in turn be leapfrogged by China another 50 years later.
With China and the EU announcing they are forming an alliance to drive forward the climate change agenda, it is a prediction that can only raise concerns in Washington that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord will help tilt the balance of geopolitical power further in Beijing’s favour.

Source: tass