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What’s the real price tag for renewable energy for the planet?

A new Stanford study calculated the cost of global renewable energy would
be $62 trillion (yes, with a “t”). But the big upfront investment would
create jobs, drastically reduce carbon emissions, and pay for itself in
just six years.

It was hot this summer—record-shatteringly hot, in many
places. And the extreme heat around the world in the last few months is
only one symptom of the climate change caused by greenhouse gasses, which
are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels like coal and gas
burn—more extreme droughts, wildfires, flooding, storms, and unseasonable
weather patterns are also symptoms.

Unless we significantly curb how much
coal and gas we burn in the next few decades, scientists are pretty much in
agreement that the consequences will keep getting more severe.

One of the simplest ways to cut back greenhouse gas emissions is in how the
electricity we use is generated. Even though the current system is
dominated by coal, oil, and natural gas, the technology for producing
energy from renewable sources like wind, hydro, and solar is effective,
available, and increasingly economical.

A new study by Stanford engineer
Mark Jacobson and his team published in the journal Energy & Environmental
Science calculates that the world would need to spend around $62 trillion
to build up the wind, solar, and hydro power generating capacity to fully
meet demand and completely replace fossil fuels. That looks like a huge
number, even spread out across the 145 countries cited in the study.

But after crunching the numbers, estimates show that countries would make the
money back in cost-savings in a relatively short period of time: Between
one to five years. The study also projected that shifting to 100 percent
renewable energy generation would result in a net increase of over 28
million jobs when factoring in the fossil fuel industry jobs that would be
lost.

It also only requires 0.36 percent more land than is currently used
for energy generation, addressing two major concerns about switching from
fossil fuels to renewables. Making the shift, and soon, is important to
slow and limit planetary warming. The study called for 100 percent clean
energy by 2035 ideally, and 2050 at the latest, with an interim goal of 80
percent by 2030.

This lines up with the roadmap laid out in the UN’s most
recent climate report and the Paris Agreement, a 2015 international treaty
for climate action that includes reducing global emissions to net-zero by
2050 to avoid worst-case levels of warming.

Adventure 9th Sept 2022

September 20, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable

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