Profile PictureGregor Macdonald | TerraJoule Publishing 

Oil Fall 2023

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Oil Fall 2023

Gregor Macdonald | TerraJoule Publishing 
5 ratings

Welcome to the 2023 update to the original Oil Fall series.

Contents: The original Oil Fall title at 105 pages. And the 2023 update, Electric Candyland, at 29 pages. Compressed and Non-Compressed versions are included in the download package.

Electricity is the new oil, and if you'd like to understand better how clean energy, electric vehicles, and grid technology will profoundly impact the oil market, then you should read Oil Fall, a now completed series that shows how wind and solar power will jailbreak the powergrid, and find their way into global transportation.

In domains from California to Texas, and from Europe and the UK to China, the titanic growth of new power generation from wind and solar is now dominating market share, cutting off growth opportunities for other energy sources. But now the great rollout of electric vehicles, and grid technology, will increasingly exploit this new source of power, depriving oil too of future growth.

The battle for oil's future is already being fought, and will not take place among the 100 million barrels of daily consumption, but rather, within the narrow margin of the 1-2 million barrels of annual growth on which the industry so thoroughly depends. In 2018, when China's car market lurched suddenly towards electric vehicles, the oil market correctly realized that future demand growth was in peril. 

Oil Fall is composed of three sections. Part one, California ICE, lays out the template by which California's transportation sector, tranche by tranche, will transition away from oil to electricity. And, because an electric vehicle uses 70% less energy than an ICE vehicle, it will be trivially easy for California to supply all the demand growth EV will need from wind and solar alone. But this is no longer a prediction. The matching of EV growth with new clean energy growth is already underway. In part two, China Sudden Stop, the history of China's revolutionary policy initiatives forms the groundwork for its next act: the killing of future coal growth, and now, through an aggressive EV adoption strategy, the killing of future oil growth. China is in pursuit of the same formula now rolling out in California, but, at a hyper, accelerated pace. While many forecasts anticipated that ICE vehicle growth would start to peak in China early next decade, that peak may now have just occurred as the entire market flipped in 2018 towards EV. Finally, in part three, Waste Crash, the Oil Fall series concludes with an accounting of the enormous waste and lost wealth that occurs each day from fossil fuel combustion. Those domains like China, California, the UK, and Europe that are running ahead of the world towards clean energy will be the early winners of a systemic harvesting operation that will secure large efficiency gains, and economic surpluses. Contrary to current assumptions about costs, it's no longer clear, in fact, that a global transition towards clean energy, distributed over a 20 year period, has anything to offer but gains. 

Part four, Electric Candyland, fact checks the forecasts made in the original 2018 series, and updates the progress the world has made in the past five years. Particular attention is paid to the UK, which offers a national model for how a large population can ween itself off oil, zero out coal consumption, build enormous volumes of clean electricity, erect emissions curbs, and adopt EV at a fast rate.

About the author: Gregor Macdonald is the editor of The Gregor Letter, a substack newsletter. He is a freelance journalist covering cities, climate and the energy sector. He has written for Nature, The Economist Intelligence Unit, The Harvard Business Review, Next City, Atlantic Media’s Route Fifty, The Petroleum Economist, Transition Economist, PV Magazine, Talking Points Memo, and The Rocky Mountain Institute. You can keep up with his work at The Gregor Letter, a twice monthly publication covering the economics of energy transition. The letter is read internationally by financial institutions, policy makers, academics, and investors.

Oil Fall is a three part series that published over the course of 2018, and which now includes a 2023 update. © All rights reserved by the author and TerraJoule Publishing. Fair use of quotes from Oil Fall are permitted, with citation of Oil Fall as the source, and the author’s name, Gregor Macdonald.

Oil Fall can be read on any PDF capable device, and renders well in Adobe Reader, DropBox, all browsers, and  the online reader provided at

Oil Fall is additionally available in compressed PDFs that also renders well for Kindle, and any PDF capable device. The compressed version makes emailing easy, to a personal Kindle, and displays more easily on mobile devices. 

Both the regular PDFs and the compressed PDFs are part of the download package here at

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Oil Fall 2023

134 pages
Regular PDFs
248 MB Total
Compressed PDF
63 MB Total


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