Renewables energy and nuclear power have not kept up with coal, let alone decreased its use. From 2001 to 2010, the amount of electricity generated with coal increased by 2,700 terawatt hours. Over the same period, electricity from non-fossil sources—including wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, and nuclear—increased by less than half that amount: or 1,300 terawatt hours.
Worldwide, more coal power is being installed because it’s inexpensive, reliable, and easy to incorporate into the grid. Before countries decide to stop building new coal plants, wind and solar and other low-carbon alternatives need to get cheaper.
Worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels, which at $523 billion are six times higher than subsidies for renewable energy. The fossil fuel subsidies do not include giving fossil fuels a free ride on air and water pollution.
Some estimate that China is losing about 7% of its GDP due to environmental damage for air and water pollution. A rough estimate is that air and water pollution from fossil fuel is costing the world about $1.4 trillion (2% of global GDP)
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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