The 'Energy Revolution' Will Not Be Forthcoming

Do yourself a favor and watch this presentation delivered by the Manhattan Institute's Mark P. Mills entitled "The energy transition delusion: inescapable mineral realities." It is data heavy, but also a gripping and common sensible account of how and why the common environmentalist account of a "great transition" in the next few years, away from hydrocarbon based energy and forward to renewable energy just isn't going to happen.

A comment upon the title: Mills explains that by "delusion" he means that anyone who confidently proclaims that in a few short years the entire world will be Norway (which gets the vast majority of its energy via renewable resources, principally hydro dams) is likely "suffering some modest delusion about what the possibilities are in the mining sector." For Mills, "the whole thing distills to mining," and mankind's mining capacity -- for minerals like cobalt and nickel, which are essential for large battery production -- is the bottleneck for such a transition. Without those batteries -- for E.V.s, factories, residences, etc. -- the environmentalist vision of the future is absolutely impossible.

And yet, the production increase which the predicted transition would necessitate is an increase "not by 10 or 20 percent, not by 50 percent, not 200 percent, but from 700 to 7,000 percent," and over the next twenty years. If this were to be achieved, says Mills, it would be "the largest single increase in demand or supply of metals in all of human history. It's never happened." And, judging purely by the projected investment in mining over the next few decades -- it isn't projected to increase 700 percent, let alone 7,000 percent -- it isn't going to happen at all.

But there's a lot more in here than that point, so give this a watch. You won't regret it.