In recent years, advocates of clean energy have been optimistic about falling solar and wind energy prices, and this has raised hopes that an energy revolution will be achieved. But a new study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives and led by MIT economist Christopher Knittel and his colleagues at the University of Chicago suggests that reducing costs is not enough, and that if taxes are not started on emissions carbon, we will not stop using fossil fuels.
If we do not adopt new policies, we will not stop fossil fuels, so we need new carbon tax policies and invest more money in renewable energy.
While renewable energy has made promising gains in recent times (the cost of solar energy decreased by about two-thirds between 2009 and 2014), new drilling and extraction techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing and oil production from of tar sands, it also makes fuel cheaper and increases the amount of oil and gas. In the United States alone between 2000 and 2014, oil reserves have expanded by 59% and natural gas reserves have expanded by 94%.
Although the cost of renewable energy has decreased significantly in the last decade, solar energy is still approximately twice as expensive as natural gas. In addition, electric vehicles are also more expensive than fuel cars. This trend of cheaper costs of renewable energy is still surpassed by fossil fuels.
The study concludes that the burning of all available fossil fuels would increase average global temperatures from 10 to 15 ° F by the year 2100 and such scenarios imply difficult changes to imagine on the planet and dramatic threats to human well-being in many parts of the world.