The Google Clean Energy 2030 proposal

This was announced last night by Google CEO Eric Schmidt at a Commonwealth club meeting. Here are more details.

Our proposal – “Clean Energy 2030” – provides a potential path to weaning the U.S. off of coal and oil for electricity generation by 2030 (with some remaining use of natural gas as well as nuclear), and cutting oil use for cars by 38%.

The financial bottom line: Although the cost of the Clean Energy 2030 proposal is significant (about $4.4 trillion in undiscounted 2008 dollars), savings are even greater ($5.4 trillion), returning a net savings of $1.0 trillion over the 22-year life of the plan.

Going renewable will save money over time. That’s one of the crucial points, and something Schmidt emphasized at his talk. Yes, this will help stop global warming, but it also is a good financial investment. And that’s how it needs to be approached when trying to get businesses onboard with the plan.

From the Google Foundation blog

To get there we need immediate action on three fronts:

(1) Reduce demand by doing more with less

(2) Develop renewable energy that is cheaper than coal

(3) Electrify transportation and re-invent our electric grid

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