Climate Change & Energy Investment. Threats and Opportunities. Hal Harvey CEO Energy Innovation Policy & Technology LLC. Overview. Climate Change What is causing climate change? Why should we pay attention? How bad could it realistically get? Promise of Renewable Energy
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Threats and Opportunities
Policy & Technology LLC
We drive climate change through multiple mechanisms.
Source: IPCC WG1 AR4
Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Waiting only makes things more difficult.
No matter what we choose as our target CO2 concentration, we still need to bring emissions down to a very low level.
If we don’t balance our emitted CO2 with the Earth’s ability to remove CO2, we will not stabilize at any target.
Human emissions rate
Natural CO2 removal rate
Much worse in the hardest-hit areas
2050 price increases due to climate change (NCAR model) – e.g. the difference between the blue and orange bars
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute
Many dry regions will experience significant water losses.
Conflict over water is possible, for instance, along the Tigris-Euphrates or Indus rivers.
Source: IPCC 2007 Synthesis Report
10-14% of all species on Earth extinct by 2100 due to climate change
Increased human exposure to tropical diseases.
Malaria epidemic risk due to climate change
Source: Martens, P. et al. Potential impacts of climate change on Malaria risk. Environmental Health Perspectives 103(5), 458-464.
Climate change impacts would make this UN population projection unlikely.
Significant warming would lock in climate changes for a long time, likely thousands of years.
Source: United Nations
A very rapid move to clean energy is possible, without sacrificing economic growth or prosperity.
Germany is an example.
German eco-taxes cut fossil fuel consumption without harming GDP growth
A feed-in tariff promoted wind and solar development.
Price drops for both solar and wind energy systems have been dramatic.
Photovoltaic Module Cost ($/watt), 1976-2012
Every year, we spend:
on energy-related infrastructure
of the global economy
And that number will grow in the future…
Middle Class Population (billions)
N America & Europe
Rest of World
Source: OECD, The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries
Residential Solar Installs in the U.S. 2001-2015
Market projected to quadruple in next four years.
Market doubled in two years.
Sources: BNEF, EIA, LBNL, PG&E
We need to (1) accelerate innovation in clean energy technologies and (2) provide the funding and support they need to reach commercial scale.
Lightweight, efficient cars
Ubiquitous solid-state lighting
Source: US Energy Information Administration
Fossil fuels have high price volatility, and investment firms are already heavily invested in fossil fuels.
Less price volatility, hedge against fossil fuels
Great economic returns
Reduce climate change impacts