IEA says $45 trillion needed for “energy revolution”

The Paris based agency says the massive investment is necessary to cut dependence on fossil fuels and halve greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth. Included in this investment would be 1,400 nuclear power plants and a vast expansion of wind power.


Carbon storage and capture systems as well as an eight-fold reduction in carbon intensity in the transport sector would be required. The leader of the IEA’s study put it quite bluntly.

This development is clearly not sustainable.

$45 trillion is a large sum of money, roughly three times current US GDP. However, assuming 3.3% economic growth over the 2010-2050 timeline, $45 trillion would only amount to 1.1% of world GDP. I don’t believe it is safe to assume 3.3% economic growth with energy and food crises headed our way, but forgoing this investment would be catastrophic for both the environment and the world’s standard of living.

A failure to reduce dependence on fossil fuels is setting the world up for a crash when we see large shortages. In addition, climate change is likely to amplify existing problems such as water scarcity and need for more food production. This report should not be ignored, and at least gives a bit of a blueprint for a solution. It is now time for government, and people, to act on a large scale to fight climate change and mitigate peak oil.

In addition, how long will it be before endless growth is realized as an impossible goal?


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