Over the past couple of weeks I’ve run across what might be a few really useful reports on the energy transition.
The Lancet is doing an annual climate countdown report to monitor our progress. Here is this year’s edition: https://www.lancetcountdown.org/2020-report/
That should give us some idea of where we are and this particular finding jumped out
“Indicator 4.2.5: net value of fossil fuel subsidies and carbon prices—headline finding: 58 of the 75 countries reviewed were operating with a net negative carbon price in 2017. The resulting net loss of revenue was, in many cases, equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget…
“This indicator calculates net, economy- wide average carbon prices and associated net carbon revenue to government. The calculations are based on the value of overall fossil fuel subsidies, the revenue from carbon pricing mechanisms, and the total CO2 emissions of the economy. Data on fossil fuel subsidies are calculated on the basis of analysis from the IEA and OECD. Together, these sources cover 75 countries and account for around 92% of global CO2 emissions. Carbon prices and revenues are derived from data in the World Bank Carbon Pricing Dashboard (https://carbonpricingdashboard.worldbank.org/) [Corporate Carbon Accounting Market https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/30/the-corporate-carbon-accounting-market/ may also be useful here]
“Of the 75 countries, 61 (81%) countries in 2016 and 58 (77%) countries in 2017 had net negative carbon prices, and only 14 (19%) countries in 2016 and 17 (23%) countries in 2017 had a price higher than zero, a result of substantial subsidies for fossil fuel production and consumption (figure 25). The median net carbon revenue was negative, a pay-out of $0·66 billion (IQR –0·04 to –3·48), with some countries providing net fossil fuel subsidies in the tens of billions of dollars each year. In many cases, these subsidies were equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget—more than 100% in eight of the 75 countries in 2017. Of the 38 countries that had formal carbon pricing mechanisms in place in 2017, 21 still had net negative carbon prices.”
An historical perspective is available with an interactive diagram of the Energy Transitions in U.S. History, 1800–2019 (https://us-sankey.rcc.uchicago.edu), extremely fine work which maps the transitions from biomass to coal to oil to gas to nuclear to renewables. The supporting paper is at https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54dcfad0e4b0eaff5e0068bf/t/5fbeba6ffa04221c71019ccc/1606335091993/Suits_Matteson_Moyer_2020_Energy_Transitions.pdf
McKinsey has just released a report on How the EU Could Achieve Zero Emissions at Net Zero Cost (https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/how-the-european-union-could-achieve-net-zero-emissions-at-net-zero-cost#) and there are two new studies for the USA:
Net-Zero America: Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts
and two US renewable energy policy scenaria, administrative action alone doubling renewables by 2030 and 50% renewables by 2030, from Wood Mackenzie (https://www.woodmac.com/our-expertise/focus/Power–Renewables/us-renewable-energy-policy-scenario-analysis/).
The Sierra Club also has a paper on how they are approaching “Climate Resilience, Carbon Dioxide Removal, and Geoengineering Policy”