We used to talk about peak oil from a production standpoint, now standard thinking is that a lot of oil will be left in the ground as demand declines permanently.
We now have single companies in the technology space that in terms of traded market value dwarf not only the likes of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell or BP but the entire publicly traded market value of the industry combined.
The gap between mature technologies that we can deploy and scale today and what we need to move to a net zero future is, according to the IEA, about 75% and “there is a stark disconnect between these high-profile pledges and the current state of clean energy technology.”
Denmark’s climate minister has announced that his country is, “closing down the oil industry for good by 2050.” Minister Dan Jorgensen referred to the “difficult” decision as the biggest of his career.
When a start up like QuantumScape claim to have a revolutionary solid-state lithium-ion cell that can change EVs forever it seems like just more grist for the hype mill. However, when Toyota, Ford and Volkswagon all announce substantial progress on the same technical pathway it starts to look like we may begin to see a real tipping point from here.
Why? Well let’s take a look at reliability. Critics of renewables have been increasingly referring to wind and solar as the “unreliables” and if we consider that sunset comes everyday and it is not always windy it is not hard to understand this core challenge that renewable energy faces.