With lawmakers in countries all over the world expressing concern over the potential economic impact of rapidly shifting away from fossil fuels to green energy, the need for concrete economic analysis has only continued to grow. Marlon Kobacker, the leader of the sustainability advisory business at Clean Energy Corporation Australia (CECA), has evaluated the statistical analyses offered by leading energy economists as well as international energy firms and has made his expert opinion available on his website: http://marlonkobacker.com.au/marlon-kobacker/
According to Kobacker, the work of the International Renewable Energy Agency offered the most telling and accurate insights regarding the potential economic benefit associated with increasing the share of renewable energy by 100 percent over its current use on a global scale. Currently, the renewable energy’s share as a percentage of the worldwide energy mix is 18 percent, and even the most modest projections analyzed by Kobacker demonstrate the overwhelmingly positive potential impact generated by doubling that share to 36 percent.
“After reviewing the data provided by several respected economists as well as energy organizations, it’s clear to me that the initial capital costs are easily offset by the savings generated through the mitigation of the many deleterious effects of global climate change,” said Kobacker. “In one study, doubling the renewable energy share generated an overall savings of up to $4.2 trillion while also creating a net overall increase of six million jobs, which ought to serve as evidence enough that any economic argument against shifting away from fossil fuels is, at best, deeply flawed.”
The study Kobacker referred to suggested a savings of $4.2 trillion over a period stretching into 2030, with the initial costs of doubling the renewable energy share estimated at $290 billion. While the $4.2 trillion estimate is an undeniably impressive figure, Kobacker’s analysis seemed to underscore the clear importance of the lower end of the most modest savings predictions, as the floor on the potential savings still checked in at four times the initial cost of implementation at an estimated total of $1.2 trillion.
As Kobacker and a number of other sustainability experts noted, there is a far greater economic cost associated with doing nothing than with making the investment in greatly increasing the overall share of renewable energy on a worldwide scale. Kobacker also notes that this strictly economic analysis ignores the clear social value of shifting the energy focus, especially when one considers the global goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord.
About Marlon Kobacker
Marlon Kobacker is the leader of the sustainability advisory business of Clean Energy Corporation Australia (CECA), where he brings extensive international experience in his field and is known as an innovative force in the green energy industry. A graduate of the University of New South Wales, Kobacker holds a master’s degree in photovoltaic engineering and has previous leadership experience at global sustainability firms, including Transurban, Edge Environment, Cundall, Arup and AECOM.