Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us


The Free Market Is Abandoning Clean Energy

• October 16, 2013 • 2:00 AM


What happened to all of those investments in renewable energy technologies?

Remember being worried about peak oil? Start worrying instead about “peak solar.” As Quartz reported yesterday, “global investment in clean energy is falling off a cliff … just as carbon emissions are predicted to skyrocket.” New investments in solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies has dropped to $45.9 billion in the most recent fiscal quarter, way down from a high of $78 billion in the same period in 2011.

Why the flight from Earth-friendly fuels? One major reason, says one of the authors of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance report which provided the data in the Quartz article, is the abundance of cheap American natural gas unlocked by fracking. I pointed out that fracking was undermining the economic case for renewables earlier this year in a lengthy piece about the world’s energy future, but I can’t say I’m happy about this supporting evidence.

Oh well. Maybe these robots that install solar panels will save us from cooking the planet!

Vince Beiser
Vince Beiser is an award-winning journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @vincelb.

More From Vince Beiser

Tags: , , ,

If you would like to comment on this post, or anything else on Pacific Standard, visit our Facebook or Google+ page, or send us a message on Twitter. You can also follow our regular updates and other stories on both LinkedIn and Tumblr.

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and, delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow us

Subscribe Now

Quick Studies

What Makes You Neurotic?

A new study gets to the root of our anxieties.

Fecal Donor Banks Are Possible and Could Save Lives

Defrosted fecal matter can be gross to talk about, but the benefits are too remarkable to tiptoe around.

How Junk Food Companies Manipulate Your Tongue

We mistakenly think that harder foods contain fewer calories, and those mistakes can affect our belt sizes.

What Steve Jobs’ Death Teaches Us About Public Health

Studies have shown that when public figures die from disease, the public takes notice. New research suggests this could be the key to reaching those who are most at risk.

Speed-Reading Apps Will Not Revolutionize Anything, Except Your Understanding

The one-word-at-a-time presentation eliminates the eye movements that help you comprehend what you're reading.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014