If we have any intention to save the planet and allow it continue to be an environment that can support life in the future then it is pretty much the general consensus that we must develop and invest in clean, renewable energy. Yet the fossil fuel industry throws millions into campaigns against renewable energy, and promoting oil and coal as the energy sources that we should be supporting.
The IEA 2012 report on global progress on cutting greenhouse gases to prevent the worst effects of climate change includes an analysis of the financial costs of investing in clean, renewable energy, and the effects on existing energy sectors. It turns out that the fossil fuels industry could be forgiven somewhat for its campaigns against switching to renewable energy (well almost forgiven, they are still choosing their own profit margins over the future wellbeing of humanity and the planet Earth), as huge amounts of money are at stake.
In order to achieve our renewable energy targets the IEA predicts that we need to spend $5 trillion, a vast amount of money, although not enough to dissuade us from investing it because the same IEA report suggests that spending $5 trillion on clean energy will in fact save us $4 trillion over the next eight years due to a reduced demand of fossil fuels; so the overall cost of achieving our renewable energy costs, and saving the planet, is just $1 trillion.
“Globally, the near-term additional investment cost of achieving these objectives [cutting greenhouse gas emissions] would amount to USD 5 trillion by 2020, but USD 4 trillion will be saved through lower fossil fuel use over this period. The net costs over the next decade are therefore estimated at over USD 1 trillion.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com