Energy Transition

Free of coal by 2017? The 100-year-old prediction that didn't quite make it

A man walks near a coal-fired power plant on the outskirts of Datong, Shanxi province, November 20, 2009. China will raise power prices for non-residential users by around 5.4 percent from Friday, the first rise since July 2008, to compensate grid firms that lost out because of a government cap on prices. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA ENERGY ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS) - RTXQXVR

In the midst of a coal shortage in 1917, one writer predicted that solar energy would replace coal by 2017. Image: REUTERS/Jason Lee

June Javelosa
Writer, Futurism
Patrick Caughill
Associate Editor, Futurism
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