You’ve probably heard the term green buck before, especially if you read any business publications regularly or have any interest in economics. What does it mean, though? And why do people keep using it? The phrase isn’t inherently pejorative or anything like that – it simply refers to the amount of money that the world spends on all sorts of environmentally-friendly technologies, from electric cars to renewable energy to green home-building materials.
In 2016, Spending on Renewable Energy Was $286 billion. It’s no secret that renewable energy costs have been falling for years. But with coal, oil and gas prices at historic lows in 2016, are we really going to see a significant rise in spending on renewables over the next few years? We used data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) to find out. The results were surprising.
In 2017, It Increased By 8%
In 2017, spending in renewable energy research and development grew by 8% over 2016. That’s a significant jump, and it’s probably only going to increase as we become more aware of our planet’s situation. Spending on the energy transition would need to total up to $173 trillion by 2050 to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. BlackRock claims that $4 trillion has been invested in sustainable projects as of late. It is imperative that a paradigm shift occurs, and for industrial revolution to take place, innovation is needed in three crucial areas: communication, transportation, and energy. A paradigm shift is necessary to adapt to a 21st-century grid that is more dependent than ever on erratic resources.
Finding Renewable Energy Sources is More Cost-Effective Than Using Fossil Fuels
In most cases, using renewable energy sources like solar power and wind power is going to be cheaper than using fossil fuels. Many countries around the world have already started transitioning towards green energy. Countries like Norway, Germany, Denmark and Spain are all generating close to 20% of their total electricity from renewable energy sources.
These Are Some Examples of Cost Savings
According to a recent report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, electric vehicles could end up being an overall cheaper alternative than conventional vehicles. Not only are electric cars still substantially more expensive than internal combustion engine cars, but electric vehicles have higher upfront prices and present considerable challenges for lower-income households. However, when total cost of ownership is considered, it’s clear that EVs might be better deal than their gas-guzzling counterparts in much of the world.
Investing in Clean Energy Isn’t Optional – It’s Essential
The world has known for decades that we’re in danger of climate change, but it’s only just starting to realize how much investment it will take to move toward clean energy. What’s more, many are shocked at how big a check they’ll have to write. But transitioning toward green power isn’t optional—it’s essential.
Renewable Energy Creates Jobs in Rural Communities
Renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, helps support many rural communities by creating jobs. These jobs are often full-time positions that allow people to live and work in their own communities. Even in small rural towns, renewable energy can bring more economic activity. Renewable energy companies need office buildings for business operations, facilities for assembly lines and storage and trucks for deliveries, which creates opportunities for local construction companies as well as workers who build and maintain these facilities.