A new report is shifting the paradigm of how much climate change costs for society. According to an Oxford University study, switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12 trillion (£10.2tn) by 2050.
Moving quickly towards renewable energy is not only beneficial to society in terms of avoiding the threat to human life streaming from climate change consequences, it also makes economic sense as it is saving money.
Falling costs of renewables while gas prices are soaring on mounting concerns over energy supplies are shifting researchers’ projections.
“Our central conclusion is that we should go full speed ahead with the green energy transition because it’s going to save us money… Even if you’re a climate denier, you should be on board with what we’re advocating,” said Prof Doyne Farmer from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School.
The forecasts are based on looking at historic price data for renewables and fossil fuels and then modeling how they’re likely to change in the future. Fossil fuels’ data has been tracked from the last 100 years. It shows that after accounting for inflation, and market volatility, their prices haven’t changed much.
Renewables, on the other hand, show rapidly decreasing rates as prices for solar and wind have been going down at around 10% per year. That is contributed to continual improvements in technology over time.
The modeling shows the price of renewables will continue to fall. The projection is based on data of how massive investment and economies of scale have made other similar technologies cheaper.
Shifting to renewable energy is a matter of driving environmental and economic stability. Researchers show that scaling renewables will continue to lower their costs and improve their reliability while fossil fuels are highlighted with high risks for people’s health and supply uncertainties.