Is our energy future still bright? Well, yes, it is.
The 2nd edition of my book on the future of energy — and the ongoing green energy revolution being led by solar power — is finally available. New foreword by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman. First foreword by UC Berkeley professor Dan Kammen. And tons of good reviews from industry and thought leaders.
I’ve been in green energy policy and project development (I do both in my day job as a lawyer and consultant) for over 15 years, running my own solo law and consulting firm since 2009. So I’ve seen a lot of this up front and close and I’ve been very pleased to see how rapid growth has been over the last decade for solar power, improved efficiency, electric vehicles, battery storage, and wind power.
I wrote the first edition in 2015 and this second edition reviews a number of my predictions and also adds a bunch of new chapters. Turns out the large majority of my predictions were right! Who knew…
I was in a small minority in 2015 in having a fairly optimistic view of our ability to transition off fossil fuels as fast as necessary. The mainstream is catching up steadily, with each new major report steadily acknowledging the remarkable exponential growth of renewable energy. I find myself now in a growing minority of optimists.
That doesn’t mean we should be complacent. We have work to do in achieving the green energy transition! My optimism is born of the clear growth trends here now and discernible well into the next couple of decades.
My main concern for a number of years was whether EVs would make it over the hump and become an exponential adoption story. We are clearly in that exponential growth phase for EV adoption now, so I write about what changed (short answer: Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3) and where we’re heading.
My last chapter is a deep dive into green energy and climate change — looking at recent forecasts for what energy changes we need to keep to 1.5–2 degrees Celsius warming. While there is no certainty about the multi-decade trends, we can state with some confidence that we are on a path to achieve the green energy transition that entities like IRENA have stated are necessary for keeping warming in this range.