What if the clean energy transition costs much less than we’ve been told?

(Inside Climate News, 18 Jan 2024) Talk about astronomical costs of a sustainable economy is leaving out some of the savings of using fewer fossil fuels, according to a new analysis.

The global transition to clean energy has a cost, but it may be a lot lower than the figures that sometimes get thrown around. The differences are large, amounting to trillions and even tens of trillions of dollars.

A new analysis from RMI, the clean energy research and advocacy group, identifies what its authors say is a basic flaw in many of those estimates: They don’t fully take into account the decrease in fossil fuel spending.

“This kind of narrative that there’s a massive surge in capital that’s required is simply incorrect,” said Kingsmill Bond, a co-author of the report and an analyst for RMI whose work covers the financial side of the energy transition.

The report finds that global capital spending (money used for equipment and property, among other things) on energy supply is on track to be about $2.5 trillion in 2030, up from $2.2 trillion in 2023.

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Inside Climate News, 18 Jan 2024: What if the clean energy transition costs much less than we’ve been told?