Basic Arithmetic of Energy Transition

The point of this short paper is to argue that any discussion of energy and climate policy should begin with a clear presentation of the basic arithmetic of energy transition. The basic arithmetic highlights the fact that the numbers must add up – projected energy consumption must equal future energy production. In that regard, this paper has a simple objective – to lay the basic arithmetic of a transition of the world’s energy economy to one more based on renewables. Analysis of a few simple scenarios illustrates the importance of starting policy analysis with the basic arithmetic.