Decarbonizing energy systems could save the planet trillions

Decarbonizing energy systems could save the planet trillions
Research from the University of Oxford suggests that decarbonized energy systems could save the world at least $12 trillion compared to our current alternatives to fossil fuels.

The peer-reviewed study found that transitioning to clean energy systems leads to lower overall costs than a fossil fuel system and provides more energy to the global economy, improving access to energy around the world.

The research also showed a realistic future in which the planet achieves a fossil fuel-free energy system by 2050. This “rapid transition” would provide 55% more energy services worldwide than today by improving energy solar, wind power, batteries, electric vehicles and clean fuels like hydrogen.

Dr Rupert Way, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford, said: "Previous models that predicted high costs for transitioning to carbon-free energy have discouraged companies to invest and governments have been reluctant to put in place policies that accelerate the energy transition and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. But the cost of clean energy has fallen sharply over the past decade, much faster than those models predicted.

“Our latest research shows that scaling up key green technologies will continue to reduce their costs – and the sooner we act, the more we will save. Accelerating the transition to renewable energy is now the best choice, not only for the planet, but also for energy costs. »

The current challenges of the energy crisis

The recent energy crisis confirms the study's findings and highlights the dangers of a continued reliance on expensive and dangerous fossil fuels. The study shows that the most effective way to overcome the energy crisis is to move quickly to clean, low-cost energy systems that benefit the economy and the planet.

Clean energy savings

The team analyzed thousands of transition cost scenarios from large energy models, using data from 45 years of solar energy costs, 37 years of wind energy costs and 25 years of battery storage.

The results showed that the true cost of solar energy fell twice as fast as the most ambitious predictions of these models, showing that previous models over the past 20 years have significantly overestimated the future cost of solar systems. clean energy compared to reality.

Professor Doyne Farmer, who leads the team that carried out the study at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford Martin School, said: “There is a common misconception that the move to clean energy and green is painful, expensive and involves large amounts of energy. We are all bound to sacrifice - but that is simply not true.

“The cost of renewable energy has been falling for decades. They are already cheaper than fossil fuels in many situations, and our research shows that they will become cheaper than fossil fuels in almost all applications in the years to come. And if we accelerate the transition, they will become cheaper faster. Completely replacing fossil fuels with clean energy by 2050 will save us trillions.

Furthermore, the results clearly indicated that the costs of important storage technologies such as batteries and hydrogen electrolysis are expected to decrease significantly.

Professor Farmer concluded: "The world is facing an inflationary crisis, a national security crisis and a climate crisis simultaneously, all caused by our dependence on expensive, dangerous and polluting fossil fuels whose prices fluctuate. . This study shows that ambitious action to dramatically accelerate the transition to a clean energy future as quickly as possible is urgently needed, not only for climate reasons, but can also save the world trillions of dollars on future energy bills by providing us with a cleaner, cheaper and safer environment. future ".

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