Graphical abstract from "Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition," in Joule. (Figure: Rupert Way, Matthew Ives, Penny Mealy, and Doyne Farmer)

If you think clean energy is expensive, try fossil fuels. A new report co-authored by Rupert Way, SFI External Professor Doyne Farmer, and their Oxford University colleagues shows that a rapid transition to renewable energy sources by 2050 could save the global economy trillions of dollars compared to both a gradual transition and to no transition at all. The report, published in Joule, models the probable future prices of both fossil fuels and renewables such as wind and solar based on empirical price data from the past. Crucially, the authors account for the falling costs of renewables that have been observed in recent decades, as these technologies have become more advanced and widespread.

Even before considering the massive costs of climate change itself, they find that the sooner we transition to clean energy, the more we stand to save.

Read the paper, "Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition," (Joule, Sept. 13, 2022)