The transition to renewable energy could be the ticket for nations everywhere. While it would cost $73 trillion upfront, those investments will pay off in just six years as they continue being powered by clean sources of power instead of fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide into our atmosphere and contribute heavily towards climate change.

The new report from Stanford University researchers shows how switching over now rather than later on would create more jobs with higher wages across many different industries including construction trades where demand is expected to grow rapidly due increased population growth plus periodic natural disasters.

One of the major barriers to reaching 100% renewable energy is the cost. This new analysis shows that if we were able replace all fossil fuels and nuclear power with hydroelectricity, biomass, geothermal wind solar installations would only be a part of it at $1 trillion for 10 years before scaling up battery storage which brings us up another billion dollars more in costs depending on how much you want this generation capacity increased from 900 Gigawatts currently installed on American soil today.

There is no easy way to determine what it would cost for a country or state with 100% renewable energy. However, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has created econometric models that can be used as an approximation in this regard and their work will continue into future years but these estimates take time so we may not have numbers yet even though they’re promising because there are too many factors involved when creating them such as seasonal fluctuations in productivity and demand which affect prices greatly among other things.

The report estimates that transitioning the U.S. to 100% renewable electricity would require building 1,600 gigawatts of new wind and solar capacity along with 900 gigawatts in energy storage such as batteries or pumped hydro systems for when there’s not enough sun shining on our power plants’ roofs. 

Researchers have found that when health and climate benefits are considered across the lifetime of an energy project, as in this study on wind versus coal power plants for U.S regions, most renewable resources developments end up paying themselves back within 20 years!

“The financial cost to install renewables is often more than offset by their positive impacts on human well-being,” says Buonocore., “and two thirds of America turns into an even better place with just one big installation—renewables.”


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