Recent events complicate the idea fossil fuels are more ‘reliable’ than renewables. Fossil fuel markets are becoming more unstable due to both geopolitics and the energy transition. Meanwhile, new technology means ‘variable’ power supply does not have to be ‘unreliable’. Climate sceptics like to suggest this variability means renewable energy is inferior to generation from fossil fuels. “Renewable energy boom risks more blackouts”, wrote US energy commentator Michael Shellenberger in Forbes Magazine in April 2021. Yet how should reliability – or in energy-speak, security of supply – be defined? Ongoing disruptions to energy supplies have resulted in soaring fossil fuel prices, highlighting how burning coal, oil or gas involves other risks that call into question their reliability.
Energy Monitor 4th Oct 2021 read more »