Google's Clean Energy Report Yields Impressive Results

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The Report

Google.org, the philanthropic branch of Google, recently released an exciting report in conjunction with McKinsey’s Low Carbon Economics Tool (LCET). The report showed incredible savings, both monetarily and in energy use, if immediate innovations are made in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. The 28-page document that was published at the end of June, “The Impact of Clean Energy Innovation,” takes an aggressive stance on the necessity of progress in green sciences. The analysis compares simulated data from Breakthrough Policies and Innovations (BT) and Business as Usual (BAU) policies in 2030 and 2050.

Google’s simulations combine technological modernizations with two-part rapid policy paths.  First, there is “Clean Policy," which refers to any proposed or existing federal policy that is designed to regulate energy efficiency, fuel economy, coal usage and a Loan Guarantee credit facility. The second is “a power sector-only $30/metric ton price on CO2.” Without refined policy in place the changes needed are not as likely to happen in an acceptable time-frame. Coal and other fossil fuels are still comparatively cheap, so mandates would be necessary to provide incentive to improve.

Results

Some of the figures the report boasts are staggering. The report estimates that over 800,000 jobs would be created should Clean Policy be implemented in addition to the Breakthroughs Google predicts. As well as an increase in GDP by nearly 90 billion dollars. Should rapid innovations be made in clean power, energy storage, electric vehicles and natural gas these fields within the next five years there will be huge monetary benefits. A flaw of the report is that it has no mention of what the presumed innovations will be or how they will come about. The report estimates that potential innovations will create over 150 billion dollars in additional GDP, over 1 million new jobs and will save on national oil consumption and money in individual households.

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Finally, the document calls for immediate progress in both energy policy and technology, citing huge losses should there be delays of over 5 years.

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Conclusions

Google's findings come as no surprise to many within the fields of green technology and energy efficiency. In fact, it is the same message that many people have been promoting for years. Ultimately, the report is optimistic regarding the progress that could be made on the federal and technological levels. The most significant aspect of this report is the source that it is coming from. Google. Statistics coming from the internet superpower will increase interest in seeing these goals met.