September 15, 2022

SAVE A TRILLION HERE AND TWELVE TRILLION THERE...:

Fast transition to carbon-free energy could save trillions: The cost of green energy technologies is plummeting, and transitioning to them quickly could be much cheaper than doing it slowly, researchers say (Prachi Patel, September 15, 2022, Anthropocene)

Shifting the world's energy system from fossil fuels to green energy technologies could save at least US $12 trillion, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Joule, shows that transitioning to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 results in lower overall costs than a fossil fuel-based system. It will also allow more energy to be produced, making energy more accessible around the world.

Decarbonizing the energy sector is going to be crucial to fight climate change. But the move to clean energy technologies--which has also been shown to potentially save thousands of lives--is thought to have prohibitively high initial costs.

These cost predictions, though, have been incorrect, according to researchers at Oxford University. Past models have underestimated how quickly renewables will be deployed, and overestimated their costs. This has kept companies from investing in these technologies and governments from incentivizing the move away from fossil fuels, lead author Rupert Way said in a press release.

So the Oxford team turned to a different method, called a probabilistic model, which forecasts costs based more precisely on historical data. In a previous study, they validated this method for 50 different technologies, including oil, coal, gas, wind, solar, and nuclear. In reality, they found that the costs of wind, solar, batteries, electric vehicles, and green hydrogen have fallen much more sharply than key energy models predicted. The actual cost of solar energy fell twice as fast as even the most ambitious models estimated. Meanwhile, the price of fossil fuels has risen steeply.


...pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Posted by at September 15, 2022 5:08 PM

  

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