For years we’ve been hearing that the clean energy transition is going to be expensive. But the recent working paper, Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition, suggests that the high estimates of the expense to transition to renewable energy have been inflated, and that it may in fact be cheaper to transition to renewables than to stay on fossil fuels, regardless of the costs of the changing climate. Using probabilistic cost forecasting methods, the authors of the paper project that because of the exponentially decreasing cost curve of renewables like wind and solar, fossil fuels will become nearly obsolete in just 25 years.
Climate Now spoke with co-author of the paper, Dr. Doyne Farmer, to better understand their model and what that might mean for policy and investments. Dr. Farmer is the Director of the Complexity Economics program at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Baillie Gifford Professor in the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.