A tale of two narratives, vital to the solar industry's prospects

Dear solar industry colleagues -


"There are days of late when the solar revolution seems to be an inevitability, and an imminent one. ….But then there are days when the vehemence of the incumbency’s rearguard action is so daunting that one wonders if Big Energy can delay the solar revolution, maybe for years, or even derail it."


That's how my latest column for Recharge magazine, on the two somewhat contrasting narratives of the shale boom and the solar revolution, starts. You can read the rest here http://www.jeremyleggett.net/2014/11/frackings-mythology-is-single-biggest-threat-to-the-solar-revolution/.

Since I wrote it, the shale narrative continues to come under huge pressure. In the last week alone we read that analysts expect only one US drilling company to earn more than it spends this year and next, that an index of U.S. oil and gas companies on the S&P 500 has lost more than $100 billion in value since June, and that  "shale drillers idle rigs from Texas to Utah amid oil rout" (Bloomberg headline). The economics aren't working. Neither are the industry's efforts to keep the lid on its environmental time bombs and political backlash. Can you believe that the town first fracked in Texas voted to ban all further fracking this week? It's true, if you didn't hear. You can check all the latest drama on my website.


Yet the shale "narrative of plenty" is the main reason that some governments, including the UK's, are actively trying to hold up the emerging solar revolution.


Too many people are failing to understand that we are engaging collectively in myth-based policymaking, it seems to me. Please join me in trying to alert as many key influencers as possible to the frailty of the shale narrative in the months ahead.


On with our shared mission of a solar revolution. Sooner rather than later hopefully: soon enough not to be too late.



Dr. Jeremy Leggett

Founder and Chairman, Solarcentury & SolarAid

Chairman, CarbonTracker & Firefly Clean Energy


Jeremy Leggett, WCRE Member of Chairpersons Board
November 8, 2014

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