The Basic Arithmetic of the Global Energy Transition
24 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2020 Last revised: 22 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 20, 2021
The point of this short paper is to argue that any discussion of energy and climate policy should begin with a clear presentation of the basic arithmetic of energy transition. The basic arithmetic highlights the fact that the numbers must add up – projected energy consumption must equal future energy production. Furthermore, the matching must occur in real time. Modern economies cannot function with any protracted energy shortfall. In that regard, the paper has a simple objective – to lay the basic arithmetic of a transition of the world’s energy economy to one more based on renewables. Analysis of a few simple scenarios illustrates the importance of starting any policy analysis with the basic arithmetic.
Keywords: Energy, Climate Change
JEL Classification: A00, A10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation