In this link you can find the full report that I prepared for Greenpeace International in January 2017 about this subject.
Time availability for a climate consistent and sustainable transition limiting global warming to 1.5C is very short. A clear understanding of the dynamics at play is a must to focus social and policy resources.
One of the main dynamics is that of renewable (RES) deployment versus fossil fuel (FF) phase-out, and this report provides additional insight into these dynamics by performing different transition analyses in four countries representative of different transition stages: Spain, Denmark, China and India.
Often, more social focus and resources are allocated to FF phase-out, tough as this analysis shows RES deployment leads the dynamics and holds the key for a successful transition.
A novel filtered trending transition analysis is introduced to provide evidence about RES deployment leading FF phase-out. Different transition phases are illustrated, and the need for RES deployment rates significantly higher than the current ones is pointed out as the only means to navigate the initial and unstable transition phases and avoid a transition reversal.
FF overcapacity issues are analysed from a transition perspective to characterise the transition barrier associated to them. Both FF stranded assets analyses and RES curtailment analyses are applied to gain insight into the implications from FF overcapacity issues.
Many countries are already facing or will face FF overcapacity issues as they approach a transition pathway, and RES deployment rates significantly higher from current ones are required to overcome the transition barriers that FF overcapacity deploys. Often wishful thinking approaches are found when addressing current FF overcapacity issues, but these ignore or underestimate the transition dynamics at play.
Successfully navigating FF overcapacity issues in a transition context would require RES deployment rates significantly higher than the current and currently planned ones.
Certainly the main message for all these countries and regions that still did not build a significant FF-based power system is to leapfrog FF generation and directly step into RES-based power systems, since that is the only way to avoid all the energy and resources needed to overcome the huge transition barriers associated to FF overcapacity issues.