Renewable Energy

IEEFA Update: The U.S. energy narrative is shifting

Markets are changing; The media is catching up; Renewables account for 20% of total generation in latest data snapshot

CLEVELAND — “What feels sometimes like a reluctant transformation is taking hold in the emergence of a ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ media narrative on the rise of renewable energy.

This awakening is especially noticeable in the financial press, which can often seem captive in a historically entrenched way to the very financiers or industries it covers.

Myopia can and does set in among all kinds of beat journalists, whose perspective can be distorted by reliance on a shared, sometimes blinding point of view. Witness the dog-pack U.S. political reporting last year that completely missed what was about to happen in the presidential election. Think back to the housing meltdown of 2007 and the subsequent market crash and financial crisis of 2008—where were the investment columnists in the lead-up to that?

The energy-transition story unfolding today is doing so within a window of time that is less compressed than a presidential campaign or a housing-price bubble. So, thankfully, reporters have time to get their heads around it and develop an accurate narrative that isn’t outrun by an abrupt denouement.”

— Karl Cates and Seth Feaster, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

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