The Global Price Tag for 100 Percent Renewable Energy: $73 Trillion

Seems like a pretty fair deal, given the alternative of living in an apocalyptic hellscape with runaway temperatures, droughts, famine, et cetera.

This article from Yale Environment 360 is so good, I'm going to quote whole blocks of it at length. Even though it was authored in 2019, I still feel like sections are worth screaming from the mountain top. To wit:

A global effort to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 would cost nations $73 trillion upfront — but the expense will pay for itself in under seven years, according to a new report from researchers at Stanford University. The study also found that the shift to a zero-carbon global economy would create 28.6 million more full-time jobs than if nations continue their current reliance on fossil fuels.

The report, published in the journal One Earth, presents detailed roadmaps for how 143 countries that account for 99.7 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions could successfully transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The report is a follow up to a 2015 study by the same research team that generated state-by-state plans for the United States, findings that helped lay the groundwork for the Democratic Party’s proposed Green New Deal.

A 7-year payback with 28.6 million full-time clean energy jobs? What the hell are we waiting for?! Those kind of infrastructure numbers are eye-popping and could wean the world from the dirty grip of coal, oil, and gas.

I see nothing but positives.

What's $7.8 trillion among friends?

In the U.S., reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 will require an investment of $7.8 trillion. It will involve building 288,000 new 5-megawatt (MW) wind turbines and 16,000 100-MW solar farms on 1.08 percent of U.S. land (85 percent of that land will be used for spacing purposes, and could serve other functions, such as for farmland). Such an initiative would create 3.1 million more jobs than if the U.S. stayed on a business-as-usual trajectory, and would save 63,000 lives from air pollution every year, the report said. The decarbonization plan would also reduce energy costs by $1.3 trillion per year, because renewable energy is cheaper to generate over time than fossil fuels. In addition, the plan would cut health and climate costs by $700 billion and $3.1 trillion annually, respectively, compared to current fossil fuel infrastructure.

A $7.8 trillion investment on 1.08% of U.S. land could bring energy independence, clean jobs, and national security? AND it can be paid back in 7-years?

There's literally no downside here, which is precisely why it won't be funded by our broken U.S. Government.


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