Where are Fossil Fuels Displaced by Alternatives?

World-Systems and Energy Transitions


  • Amanda Sikirica University of Wyoming




Energy Transition, Multilevel Models, World-Systems, Displacement Paradox


In light of ongoing and accelerating climate change driven by human combustion of fossil fuels, researchers have found evidence that national-level inequality influences whether nations are able to replace fossil fuels with alternative energies. This paper asks whether the inequality between nations also influences the rate at which nations replace fossil fuels. I use multilevel modeling techniques, World Bank data and data aggregated by Our World in Data for 146 nations from 1960–2021 to better understand the variation in national-level displacement of fossil fuels. Findings suggest there has been only partial displacement of fossil fuels at the global level during this period. In examining whether the variation in displacement of fossil fuels with alternative fuels at the national level can be described by lasting global inequality among nations, here measured by world-systems position, I find that semiperiphery nations displace fossil fuels at a higher rate on average as compared with core nations. This is further evidence for the importance of fossil fuel infrastructure and global inequality for implementing energy transitions to address climate change.


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How to Cite

Sikirica, A. (2024). Where are Fossil Fuels Displaced by Alternatives? World-Systems and Energy Transitions . Journal of World-Systems Research, 30(1), 249–275. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2024.1218