Peak Fossil Fuel Demand for Electricity Generation

The latest installment of The Peaking Series shows demand for fossil fuels has peaked in the electricity sector. It will plateau for a few years and be in clear decline by the second half of the decade.

The key driver of change is the rapid growth of solar and wind electricity generation on typical S-curves, driven by low costs, a shift of global capital, and the rising ceiling of what is possible.

In 2022, solar and wind will produce 600–700 TWh of new electricity. Added to the 100–200 TWh from other clean sources makes it enough to meet projected global electricity demand growth of around 700 TWh.

The story just gets better and better as solar and wind advance further up the S-curve. Solar and wind generation will increase at least threefold by the end of the decade, pushing fossil fuel electricity into terminal decline.

This is a global phenomenon. Fossil fuel demand for electricity has peaked in 95 percent of the OECD countries and 31 percent of the non-OECD countries excluding China. Chinese demand is about to peak as the 2030 renewable deployment goals are hit before 2025. India is choosing its own path to development, based on growth from renewables. And renewables offer new solutions for Africa.

There are plenty of barriers to change, but none of them are insoluble, immediate, and universal so cannot maintain the status quo. The ceiling of change is far above our heads and disruption of the incumbent fossil fuel system is thus inevitable.


Curiously, the chart from your own link seems more aspirational than real. I see nothing in it that demonstrates that fossil fuels will go down. They haven’t done that so far. They’re not doing that now. Why would that happen in the (near) future?

Because it would be good for the planet? Don’t make me laugh. Tragedy of the commons, writ large.


The problem is projections like that were made when fossil fuels, ie crude oil and NG cost more.

Real elements in finance are always very lumpy.

No it is based on data collected on the planning and construction of new electrical power generation facilities globally.

Did you read the article and report before making your comments?

Are you confusing total fossil fuel demand with electrical power generation fossil fuel demand?

From the RMI report:
"The Peaking Series maps the vast mountain range of past and current peaks in fossil fuel demand. In country after country and sector after sector, fossil fuel demand has peaked and now faces a future of decline.

This story is unfolding globally, as new solutions coupled with efficiency force out demand for fossil fuels. Peaking demand creates a domino dynamic — as each sector and country peaks, the next peak moves forward, faster. And as this cycle of change takes hold, capital, talent, and power shift from the old fossil fuels to the new renewable industries, further accelerating the cycle of change.

The Peaking Series looks at examples of this pattern of peak, plateau, and decline for incumbents in energy history, how this pattern is playing out today, and how it will unfold in the future. Our analysis covers why peaks are important; what can be done to speed up them up; past fossil fuel peaks in the United States, Europe, and the industrial sector; and more."

I have also been posting about new electrical power generation on other boards showing that renewables are leading in new power generation:

Here is another report from IEA about renewables:

That is why fossil fuels for electricity generation will start to decline in 2025. In a short two years we will see this happen.

Do you want to make bet?

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I already have. I have Chevron and Exxon in my portfolio. Also Berkshire, which is loading up on Oxy.

Of course I’m hedging my bets. Our house has geothermal HVAC and solar panels.

LOL! These are short term bets on oil and gas mainly for the non-electrical power generation. But what about electrical power generation in 2025 bets? I bet you will dump Chevron and Exxon in 2025 when the electrical power generation industry starts to dump fossil fuels seriously.

Ignoring Climate Catastrophe, Crisis, or Calamity, look at what is happening on the ground. Renewable adoption is in the early stages and in no position to replace fossil fuels whole hog. Instead, like all disruptive innovations, it is serving ‘underserved’ markets. I put underserved in quotes because home and business are underserved but peaker plants don’t fit the description. Instead batteries, the renewable energy catalyst, are replacing fossil fuels in this costly application. As time goes by and renewable adoption grows, it will find other generation markets to disrupt.

Even if total energy consumption grows, a likely scenario if we are to see economic progress, fossil fuels will grow much less than without renewables taking market share. If not good for the planet at least it reduces pollution;

Institutions must make predictions but specific numbers are just guesswork. It’s the trend that I trust, not the guesswork. This is one reason I stopped guessing future stock prices. My guess is that renewable adoption will continue to grow quickly for several decades, time enough to buy and hold relevant growth stocks.

The Captain