Local Energy Firm Outlines Cost of Presidential Candidate’s Climate Change Strategy
Source: Quantum Energy Consultants
Quantum Energy Consultants, an energy firm led by sustainability experts dedicated to helping countries select the best energy pathway, released a new report that analyzes the total economic, environmental and health costs of the energy policies proposed by the 2020 U.S. presidential candidates. Utilizing new, propriety energy modeling software – TotalView Energy Model – the report’s findings indicate that while former Vice President Joe Biden’s proposed plan is estimated to cost upwards of $2 trillion, the long-term cost will be at least 30 percent less than President Donald Trump’s current plan.
Starting with data from The UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy’s 2035 Report, the TotalView Energy Model ran four simulations that evaluated the hourly electricity grid interaction to match supply (generation) and demand (electricity load), annual electricity cost, and the order-of-magnitude estimates of the full range of life cycle environmental and health impacts. The results of the simulations are then expressed in terms of U.S. 2020 dollars.
The TotalView Energy Model found that:
- The total costs of Biden’s policy are $810 billion for the 2035 year, which are 30.3 percent less than the total costs of $1,161 billion of Trump’s policy.
- The annual environmental costs of Biden’s policy were $77 billion – 45.6 percent less than the annual environmental costs of Trump’s policy, which total $141 billion.
- The annual health costs of Biden’s policy were $516 billion, which are 37.6 percent less than the annual health costs of Trump’s policy, which total $828 billion.
- Biden’s policy will create approximately 750,000 more jobs than Trump’s by 2035.
- While the infrastructure costs are slightly more in Biden’s policy, the environmental and health costs are substantially less, leading to a base estimate savings of $351 billion per year if the Biden policy is implemented as opposed to Trump’s policy. This is an average savings of $1,070 per person per year in the U.S.
- Once the electricity sector is fully decarbonized, the total cost savings in the electricity sector alone would be on the order of $1 trillion per year, and as high as $5 trillion per year, which are the base and high estimates of the annual environmental and health costs without policy changes.
The full report can be downloaded here.
“When a full picture of the economic, environmental and health costs is presented, it’s very apparent that decarbonizing the electricity sector will not only be less expensive than the current policy, but will be drastically less expensive in the years after the transition has been made,” said Daniel Howard, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Quantum Energy Consultants. “More importantly, with Biden’s policy, the U.S. will be leading the world in making progress towards keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoiding the catastrophic effects of climate change that pose a serious existential threat to humanity.”
Trump’s energy plan is fossil fuel centric and expands coal burning electricity production, opens the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, approves massive natural gas pipelines (including the Dakota Access, Keystone XL and New Burgos pipelines), keeps the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement and repeals over 100 air pollution and environmental regulations including the Clean Power Plan.
Biden’s plan calls for a carbon-neutral power sector by 2035, invests significant amounts in innovation to drive dramatic cost reductions in key clean energy technologies (including battery storage, negative emissions tech, next generation building materials, renewable hydrogen and advanced nuclear), and implements novel financing instruments and tax incentives to maximize private sector investment in clean energy. It also aims to drive advances in energy efficiency through investment and creating a new Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard.
Quantum’s report was primarily funded by Lamara Heartwell, founder of One Body, an environmental philanthropist and the great granddaughter of Exxon's co-founder.
About Quantum Energy Consultants
Quantum Energy Consultants helps countries select the best sustainable energy pathway to meet their long-term goals and save lives, the planet and billions of dollars. Its TotalView Energy Model uses exponentially more efficient algorithms to assess the real, tangible, long-term economic, environmental and health costs of national and regional energy plans, requiring only 1/10 the amount of time, data and money as using traditional energy models. This TotalView approach enables organizations planning and financing the future of energy to make data-driven energy plans based on a full picture of data that achieve their initiatives, save a tremendous amount of money and improve quality of life and the planet. The concept for TotalView Energy Planning was born during a 5-year project funded by the National Science Foundation, US EPA and USAID.