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Janne M. Korhonen @jmkorhonen
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Hi guys! @AtteHarjanne and me just published a paper "Abandoning the concept of #renewable #energy" at Energy Policy. In it, we argue that the concept of #renewableenergy (RE) is outdated. 1/

First, a link to the paper that should work until Feb 14:…
What we argue here is that using what is basically a 1970s-era definition of renewable energy, and conflating "renewable" with "sustainable" or even "clean," is becoming more a hindrance than a help in meeting the main challenge of the early 2000s - #climatechange . 2/
We argue that the concept of RE was largely set in stone well before the magnitude of #climate challenge, and actual problems with some sources that are technically renewable, was understood. This has resulted to, e.g., using the "renewable" label to cover all bioenergy. 3/
However, the concept of renewable energy still underpins practically all discussion about how to mitigate climate change.

This has some unfortunate results: for instance, the policy focus on renewables that in effect is a cover for unsustainable bioenergy use. 4/
In reality, there is practically no correlation (R^2 = 0.22) between share of renewable energy in a country's energy mix, and the sustainability of its energy system (Energy Trilemma rankings). This alone tells us "RE" is a very problematic concept. 5/
Furthermore, the loose use of the concept of RE as a label allows bait and switch tactics that are effectively greenwashing both biofuel AND fossil fuel industry.

Prime example: fossil gas companies selling gas as a complement to renewable energy.

But because we continue with this outdated concept, the public isn't even aware of the issues. Atte even analysed the public visual imagery of RE: practically all of it is pictures of wind and solar power, whereas in reality e.g. in EU a major chunk of renewables is wood.
As an alternative, we suggest that we should use more accurate language to describe what we really want. That is an energy system that is very low carbon and preferably not based on combustion.

So policy-making should focus on "low carbon" energy, not renewability per se. END.
(Seems the link above may not work - this ought to:…

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