‘We can’t afford a green energy economy” is a myth, obvious to people who are paying attention to the hyper expensive effects of a planet-scorching fossil fuel economy.
However, now a group of scientists, headed by Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford have crunched the numbers and laid out a serious plan for a transition to an affordable energy infrastructure in New York State that uses primarily wind, water and sun. It does not require that we ‘live in trees and eat bugs’. To the contrary, it reduces our energy costs, creates millions of jobs, improves public health and costs less than the side effects of continuing to burn fossil fuels.
The report is Examining the Feasibility of Converting NY State’s All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water, and Sunlight 2013 Mark Z Jacobson, Robert W Howarth, Mark A Delucchi et al.
This plan calls for electricity to be generated by solar, wind, geothermal and some hydro and wave technology. It calls for batteries and hydrogen fuel cells in cars, trucks, buses, locomotives and ships. For heating and cooling buildings, it uses ground source heat pumps and heat exchangers.
The investment in new energy infrastructure would increasingly develop low-carbon technologies and by 2020, all new investment would be in these systems, The savings would help us phase out old fuel dependent systems by 2050.
Since renewable electricity is several times more efficient than fossil fuel combustion, losing very little energy to waste heat, the plan reduces electric usage.
It would stabilize energy prices bringing electric rates down from $.18/kWh to $.13/kWh, create millions of new jobs, reduce air pollution and improve public health.
The transition would help us deal with what Jacobson describes as “the epic environmental and ecological costs we all pay for our current energy supply,” a “Fiscal Energy Cliff.” See Interviews and story on the report in Huff post.