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Publication | Transition Economist

From Resource Scarcity to Energy Abundance and Infinite Supply

Chris Goncalves, Matt Tanner, Alayna Tria, and Tristan Van Kote

January 25, 2021

The paradigm shift being wrought by the energy transition

For more than two hundred years, energy economics have been defined by society’s increasing hunger for the depletable resources of coal, oil, and natural gas. These fuels have been used to enable the Industrial Revolution, the progressive electrification of society, and the ever-greater transportation and mobility of people, goods, services, and information. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have seen a formidable increase in global energy consumption. Over that period, the growth of energy supply from depletable fossil fuels has provided the underlying foundation for the improvement of virtually every measure of human progress, socioeconomic welfare, and economic growth.

In addition to the altruistic objective of averting catastrophic climate change, important strategic and economic objectives and benefits are available to the companies and countries that champion the next stage of energy transition. This is important, because achieving the long-term benefits of the energy transition will be technically challenging and operationally costly over the coming decade(s), and therefore the energy transition leaders will require sustained long-term vision and economic fortitude to stay the course.

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Christopher Goncalves

Managing Director

Washington, DC
MT

Matthew Tanner

Managing Director

Washington, DC

Alayna Tria

Associate Director

Washington, DC