Our pathetically slow shift to clean energy, in five charts

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We’d better pick up the pace in the 2020s.

By most measures that matter, clean energy had a stellar decade.

The cost of large wind and solar farms dropped by 70% and nearly 90%, respectively. Meanwhile, renewable-power plants around the world are producing four times more electricity than they did 10 years ago.

Similarly, electric vehicles were barely a blip at the outset of the 2010s. But automakers were on track to sell 1.8 million EVs this year, as range increased, prices fell, and companies introduced a variety of models.

But the swift growth in these small sectors still hasn’t added up to major changes in the massive global energy system, or reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. So far, cleaner technologies have mostly met rising energy demands, not cut deeply into existing fossil-fuel infrastructure, as the charts that follow make clear.

That’s a problem. Cutting emissions rapidly enough to combat the increasing threats of climate change will require complete overhauls of our power plants, factories, and vehicle fleets, all within a few decades.

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Motorway speed limits could rise to 80mph across the country – and it’s all thanks to electric cars

 

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SPEED limits on motorways across the country could be increased to 80mph, according to the transport secretary.

Grant Shapps said he was “thinking about” increasing the speed limit following a surge in the number of eco-friendly vehicles on the road.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he is considering raising the motorway speed limit to 70mph

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, Mr Shapps said: “On 80mph speed limits, I’ve been thinking about this issue and maybe even sought advice on the subject of late.

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