2016 Will Be the Year the Fossil Fuel Era Enters Terminal Decline

This year is set to be even warmer than last, but there are reasons to believe the shift to clean energy will gain serious momentum in 2016.

(Image: Razzouk/Shutterstock)

(Image: Razzouk/Shutterstock)

2015 was a landmark year for climate action. Its many highlights were topped by a Paris agreement where 195 countries set themselves on a low-carbon path via economy-wide plans sure to be developed and strengthened every year.

In the meantime, climate chaos continues to build: 2015 was the warmest year of the warmest decade since we started recording temperatures. 2016 is forecast to be even warmer. The number of climate refugees are swelling and everywhere popular movements against more pollution and irresponsibility are strengthening.

Expect the following broad trends to accentuate in 2016.

Clean Energy can no Longer be Stopped

Notwithstanding the low price of coal and oil, solar power and other forms of clean energy will continue their onward march in 2016 and quasi-monopolize additions to electricity supply worldwide.

Order books for new clean energy power plants are up sharply in the United States, China, India, as well as in the developing economies of Africa and Latin America. India, for example, with current electricity grid capacity of less than 300 gigawatts (GW), is on its way to building 100 GW of solar power by 2022 (from 5 GW currently), double the current solar capacity of China.

Meanwhile, cheaper battery technology will continue to drive clean energy costs down, while changing the way people think about energy: We will produce more electricity from solar power, but also store and manage it ourselves. This foretells nothing short of a revolution in the way our modern society fuels itself, upending previous assumptions about the need for large fossil fuel plants connected by an expensive, inefficient electricity grid.

Read more: Alternet

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