Energy chaos is unfolding from Asia to Europe as economies attempt to emerge from the COVID-19 slowdown. Spiking natural gas and coal prices, fuel line-ups in the UK, and power shortages at Chinese factories are evidence of wide-spread instability in key commodities.
So, when will renewable forms of energy be at a scale to meaningfully smooth things out? Tom Rand, author of the book Climate Capitalism, expects that could take a while.
“We’re in inning one of a nine-inning ball game here,” he told Yahoo Finance Canada’s Editor’s Edition. “Rebuilding our energy systems is not a five-year, or even ten-year trajectory. It’s multi-decades. We need to shorten that because of climate risk. But no matter how cheap renewables can be, and how useful, you’re not going to quickly displace existing assets that have a lifespan of 50 years.”
Rand calls upon governments to act like the conductor of an orchestra in guiding private-sector investment in clean energy.
“We do need a strategic vision of what our energy systems will look like in 10 years and 20 years,” he said. “This is the hardest thing humankind has ever tried to do, get off fossil fuels in 10 or 20 years.”
Rand also shares his take on Greta Thunberg’s “blah, blah, blah” speech, in which she once again skewers world leaders for not doing enough to halt the effects of climate change.
He also discusses the future of Canada’s Green Party in the wake of Annamie Paul’s departure as leader.
Got a question for Tom Rand? Email Jeff.Lagerquist@yahoofinance.com and let him know what interests you in the world of clean energy and technology.
Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.