The Energy Transition Myth In conversation with Sean Sweeney

Publication date:
45:27 minutes

If you listen to the news and read the papers, it would be easy to be convinced that the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future energy system is “already underway”. Advocates say that renewable energy is already cost-competitive - with costs of generation falling below that of fossil fuels.  According to them, the transition is all but  "inevitable". Yes, we may  still be using fossil fuels, but only as a temporary measure as we all move to cleaner energy. We are probably past peak use of coal, and with the daily improvements to our capacity for wind and solar energy, clear skies are just a  matter of time .


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Here at the State of Power podcast, we are very concerned with the state of power, because hardly anything has a greater impact on the future of our planet, than the ways in which we generate and consume energy.  Our guest on the program  believes that some of the optimism with regards to renewable sources of energy is ill-placed, and that we have to face the reality that we have a lot more to do before we can even begin to talk about a transition. 

The following conversation is centred around an upcoming paper that Sean has written together with John Treat. In the paper called The Energy Transition Myth, the authors look at the numbers, and use them to challenge many of the claims that we are well on the way towards an energy transition. 

Sean Sweeney is the coordinator of the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, a network of more than 80 unions from around 25 different countries. TUED is based at the City University of New York, School of labour and urban studies.

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