Published on June 7th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer1
We'll Be Twice as Rich if We Switch
June 7th, 2010 by Susan Kraemer
An eighteen trillion dollar renewable energy economy would be created by a transition to 95% renewable energy by 2050, a report commissioned from the European Renewable Energy Council finds.
The in-depth economic analysis finds that it is not just technically, but economically feasible to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the recommendations of climate scientists for a safe future climate; 80% by 2050.
The report, Energy [R]evolution – a sustainable energy outlook also did the math on continuing with business as usual. That would provide only a little over half as much of a jolt – eleven trillion dollars. Under business as usual, of the current energy industry’s 8.7 million jobs globally, only 2.4 million would be in renewables.
It would also deliver free energy once the infrastructure is built, lowering energy prices. By 2050, we would be not just participating in a larger economy, but be paying less of that income for energy than we do now (as well as having cleaner, safer renewable energy that doesn’t spill toxic oil in our oceans).
The report assumed no efficiency or conservation – just energy production to meet the world’s global needs. “The scenario mapped out in the report is entirely feasible,” lead author Sven Teske told Business Insider. “We have not proposed cutting energy demand by curbing economic growth, everything is based on the IEA’s economic growth figures and its somewhat conservative projections for fuel costs.”
The reprt notes that policy mechanisms that have already been deployed are working – where they are in place. These include feed-in tariffs, energy efficiency standards, smart grid roll-outs, carbon pricing mechanisms, and cap and trade.
How EU Cap and Trade Got Carbon Emissions Down
More widespread applications of these successful policies will do more, the study concludes; especially in the third world which has virtually no energy infrastructure now, (so building a new one does not have to compete with infrastructure that is already paid for).
An international agreement whereby industrialized countries helped to fund feed-in tariffs in developing countries to accelerate the global roll-out of renewables would pay off in lower energy prices in the long term there too.
The report also recommended phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, which according to a new report at the Financial Times; are currently about $550 billion a year globally according to the IEA. Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA in Paris, told the Financial Times that removing fossil energy subsidies was a policy that could change the energy game “quickly and substantially”.
Image: Energy [R]evolution
Source: Business Insider