At first glance I was very surprised and skeptical of the claims of this recent paper in Nature Climate Change. Richard York did some simple regression modeling of renewable energy and total energy use in 132 countries and found that renewable energy did not explain very much of the variation in fossil fuel use. If we think that we have a certain demand for energy, if we increase one source, others will decrease. How can this not be the case? Are we just using more energy from all sources? Maybe it is a case of Jevons Paradox? Am I missing some nuance of his modeling approach?
This reminds me of an article from 2010 on how we use more electricity as light bulbs become more efficient:
The recent article in Nature Climate Change:
York, R. (2012). Do alternative energy sources displace fossil fuels? Nature Climate Change, 2 (6), 441-443 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1451