A BRIGHT NET ZERO FUTURE
There is the potential for a future with abundant sources of affordable energy in the form of electricity from renewables. Hydrogen and synthetic fuels are possible forms of green energy if they can be produced at reasonable cost using renewable energy. It’s possible to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and most air pollution and still have the energy needed to maintain and improve living standards and feed a larger global population. We don’t need to make drastic life style changes such as to have fewer children, to stop driving cars, or to eliminate air travel. Some activities will cost more, but there will be offsetting benefits.
The trend is our friend. Twenty years ago, this would not have been possible. Renewable energy sources, solar and wind, were less efficient and not cost-effective compared to the fossil fuels they would replace. There have been dramatic improvements in the performance and cost of solar- and wind-power plants. Today they are less expensive than fossil fuels and nuclear power plants in most locations. The cost and performance of renewables continues to improve. In addition, battery technology is improving as well, making it increasingly feasible to transition to electric vehicles and to use utility-scale batteries to match electricity supply and demand.
It can be demonstrated that it is cost-effective to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, especially if there is a carbon fee to offset the tremendous fossil fuel subsidies now in place. The biggest subsidy is the ability of fossil fuel users to discharge unlimited quantities of greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere for free.