Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

“Wood Mackenzie concludes that [100 percent renewable energy] goals remain largely aspirational, but attainable given a reasonable time horizon to allow for technology development, regulatory realignment and socio-economic reforms,” the consulting firm said in a report released in late June. The report comes as states like California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia have adopted 100 percent renewable and clean energy goals and mandates, generally in the 2050 timeframe.

In summary — excluding supply chain impacts and other items, such as stranded costs — an investment of $4.5 trillion would be required to fully transition the US power grid to renewables over the next 10 to 20 years, which implies an investment of roughly $225 to $450 billion a year, a scale comparable to the total US defense budget. Read more here.

FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

  • According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States subsidizes fossil fuels at a cost of $649 billion a year.
  • United States Spend Ten Times More On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Than Education, Forbes
    IMF leader Christine Lagarde has noted that the investments made into fossil fuels could be better spent elsewhere, and could have far reaching positive impacts: “There would be more public spending available to build hospitals, to build roads, to build schools and to support education and health for the people. We believe that removing fossil fuel subsidies is the right way to go.”

DECARBONIZING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY GAINING MOMENTUM

COUNTRIES & REGIONS LEADING THE WAY