Renewables to replace fossil fuels? "Certain", argues Jeremy Grantham.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO: “In an earlier report, “The Race of Our Lives1 I finished on the unusually optimistic point (for me) that a combination of declining fertility and eventual declining population combined with unexpectedly strong progress in renewable energy might just save our modern civilization from a slow and, no doubt, irregular descent into dystopia.”
“More recently, while still believing we are in this critical race, I have become increasingly impressed with the potential for a revolution in energy, which will make it extremely unlikely that a lack of energy will be the issue that brings us to our knees. Even in the expected event that there are no important breakthroughs in the cost of nuclear power, the potential for alternative energy sources, mainly solar and wind power, to completely replace coal and gas for utility generation globally is, I think, certain. The question is only whether it takes 30 years or 70 years. That we will replace oil for land transportation with electricity or fuel cells derived indirectly from electricity is also certain, and there, perhaps, the timing question is whether this will take 20 or 40 years.
….One can easily see that in 10 years there could be a new world order in cars. (And if that weren’t enough, there is a wholly different attack on the traditional gasoline engine from an entirely new technology, the hydrogen fuel cell, to be introduced by Toyota this year.) ….The idea of “peak oil demand” as opposed to peak oil supply has gone, in my opinion, from being a joke to an idea worth beginning to think about in a single year. Some changes seem to be always around the corner and then at long last they move faster than you expected and you are caught flat-footed.
….oil is a truly global market, with 64 countries producing oil and every country using it, and our new fracking oil moves our dial but barely touches the global market. Our remarkable 20% increase in output is only 2% of world production. The real oil problem is its cost – that it costs $75 to $85 a barrel from search to delivery to find a decent amount of traditional oil when as recently as 15 years ago it cost $25. And fracking is not cheap. ….We still get 10% of global oil from a single traditional field discovered in 1945 that is still chugging along. Fracking wells are basically done for in three years. They are definitely not your grandfather’s oil wells!
….“Fracking gas,” like all natural gas, is basically methane. Methane unfortunately is an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2: at an interval of 100 years it is now estimated to be 32 times as bad, and at 20 years to be 72 times worse! If it leaks from well head to stove by more than 3%, it gives back its critical advantage and becomes no better than coal in its climate effect. Emissions, for whatever reasons, have not been carefully monitored. It would be nice, though, to know how fast we are roasting our planet. A series of tests in the next three years or so, privately funded, will measure leakages. In old cities with Victorian era gas lines, leakage will be terrible – probably 2% or 3% on their own. At some “cowboy” wells, emissions will be much higher than that.”