Renewables could save trillions

A study from Oxford University predicts that moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save $12tn by 2050 globally.

The report dismisses the cost of decarbonising the global energy system, saying that most energy-economy models have historically underestimated deployment rates for renewable energy technologies and overestimated their costs.

Using an approach based on probabilistic cost forecasting methods that have been statistically validated by backtesting on more than 50 technologies, the costs for solar energy, wind energy, batteries, and electrolysers will further decline, and the report concludes that compared to “continuing with a fossil fuel-based system, a rapid green energy transition will likely result in overall net savings of many trillions of dollars—even without accounting for climate damages or co-benefits of climate policy.”

The research was published in Joule and is a result of work by the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, the Oxford Martin Programme on the Post-Carbon Transition, the Smith School of Enterprise & Environment at the University of Oxford, and SoDa Labs at Monash University.

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