By Alexander C. Kaufman

Coal-fired power is on pace to collapse in the United States and Europe over the next two decades, and will peak worldwide in nine years, according to a long-term forecast released on Thursday.

Solar and wind energy, meanwhile, will dominate over the next 23 years, comprising nearly three-quarters of the expected $10.2 trillion in new electricity investments.

“This year’s report suggests that the greening of the world’s electricity system is unstoppable, thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including those in electric vehicles, in balancing supply and demand,” Seb Henbest, lead author of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s 2017 New Energy Outlook report, said in a statement.

As a result, carbon pollution from the power sector will reach its apex in 2026. By 2040, emissions are forecast to be 4 percent below 2016 levels…

…Even as President Donald Trump takes steps to increase coal use, the market isn’t likely to rebound in the U.S. Coal-fired power is expected to fall by 51 percent over the next two decades. In its place, gas-fired electricity will increase 22 percent, and renewables by a massive 169 percent.

These are mostly hopeful predictions. They are based on assumptions about prices that are subject to change wildly in the coming decades. Like a long-term weather report, it’s impossible to take the energy forecast as certain.

“You have to make assumptions about how technology progress in the coal sector is going to develop,” Steve Cicala, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, told HuffPost by phone. “Coal plants are getting more efficient over time, making it cheaper to burn coal…”

Read more via the Huffington Post…

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