The difficulties of implementing renewables effectively in a social landscape characterized by systemic racial inequalities, neoliberal policy, environmental change, and regularized disaster.
Over time, at the country level, increasing economic inequality reduces renewable energy consumption, with no evidence of reciprocal feedback.
Renewable energy displaces more fossil fuel energy sources when inequality is increasing, while– conversely– fewer existing fossil fuel energy sources are displaced when inequality is decreasing. Efforts aimed at increasing renewable energy consumption should adopt policies that ensure the effective displacement of fossil fuels and reduce inequality.
CO2 emissions from natural gas sources do not displace CO2 emissions from coal. These results cast doubt on whether the growing use of natural gas is likely to help substantially reduce CO2 emissions.