The cost of shifting away from fossil fuels no longer costs the earth
Green energy costs are falling, the International Renewable Energy Agency says
Berlin — The cost of reaching global climate goals is falling rapidly as wind and solar prices plummet and policymakers push electrification as the main tool to cut pollution, the International Renewable Energy Agency says.
The Abu Dhabi-based agency, known as Irena, has revised down its estimates for global investments needed by 2050 in clean energy to meet targets under the Paris Agreement on climate change. It now says $115-trillion is needed, down from $125-trillion a year ago, reflecting lower costs to build wind and solar farms.
The global energy shift needs significant investments but they will more than pay off in curbing emissions and in health and environmental benefits, Irena’s new director-general, Francesco La Camera, says. Green energy costs are falling rapidly, he says.
The agency cut its estimate for the additional costs needed to meet Paris Accord goals by 40% in the last year, according to the Irena report.
Some 174 states and the EU signed up to the Paris deal in 2015 pledging to keep global warming from rising above 2ºC since the Industrial Revolution by 2050. The group is advocating greater use of electricity to cut the fossil-fuel emissions that are damaging the atmosphere. That would require putting
1-billion new electric cars on the road, increasing the use of power to provide heat and to make industrial gases.
Electricity’s share of total energy consumption may grow from 20% share now to almost 50% in 2050, the report says.