Electricity pylons at an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Electricity pylons at an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Prof Philip Lloyd allows his love of fossil fuels to pollute the maths (Fossil fuels unrivalled, July 11). Implicit in the words "accelerates" and "growth" is a relative measure, and not an absolute one. By his numbers and the selfsame BP Statistical Review of World Energy (2017), fossil fuel growth in 2016 is 149-million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) a year off 11,354.3mtoe, and renewable energy growth is 33mtoe a year off 419.6mtoe. When I was at school, that would mean that renewable energy growth in 2016 equals 7.9%, whereas fossil fuel growth only equals 1.3%.

The aforesaid is for primary energy, which includes fossil fuels for heating and transport. In respect of electricity-generation, the BP review advises that electricity-generation was up 2.2% in 2016, and that renewable energy now accounts for some 7.5% of total electricity consumption, with growth in 2016 of 14.1%. By comparison, electricity-generation by fossil fuels grew by less than 1% in 2016.

Prof Lloyd’s reference demonstrates that the move from fossil fuel does accelerate. QED.

Richard GordonNewlands, Cape Town

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