Myth: Switching to clean technologies will be expensive, and the cost of converting to an electrified civilization is more than the cost of maintaining the current system

 |  6 May 2024

False. Switching to clean technologies will save money.

The reason why disruptions happen in the first place is because new technologies outperform older ones in terms of cost and capability, and therefore outcompete them on a purely economic basis. (Watch this video to learn more about disruptions from Adam Dorr, Director of Research at RethinkX.)

Disruptions would not occur if new technologies were not overwhelmingly cost-competitive. It therefore follows that adopting new technologies will cost less, not more, than continuing with older technologies. And this is purely in economic terms, without including the environmental, social, health and other externalized costs of fossil fuels and combustion engine vehicles.

The costs and capabilities of solar, wind and batteries have been consistently improving for several decades. Since 2010 alone, solar photovoltic capacity costs have fallen over 80%, onshore wind capacity costs have fallen more than 45% and lithium-ion battery capacity costs have fallen almost 90%, as can be seen in the graphs below. (Read more on p15 of our Rethinking Energy report.)

These cost improvements are consistent and predictable, and each of the technologies will continue to improve throughout the 2020s. SWB will be overwhelmingly competitive on a purely economic basis in all regions by 2030.

Explore the evidence...

 

Witness the transformation

Our analysis shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of SWB is physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as other populated regions of the world between 2020-2030.

Learn more about the disruption and transformation of the energy sector.

Published on: 12/07/23

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