A few years ago, the high-tech giant Google helped reframe the national energy and climate policy debate when it launched its “RE<C” program, or “renewable energy cheaper than coal.” The idea was clear: instead of primarily focusing on making fossil fuels expensive through climate policy, Google believed the U.S. should focus on driving down the price of clean energy through technological innovation — or “making clean energy cheap,” as the Breakthrough Institute puts it.
Today, in the midst of a raging national debate about energy and economic policy, Google took its analysis a big step further by releasing a new report and interactive website that offers one of the most comprehensive assessments ever performed on the economic impact of clean energy technology innovation.
The key conclusion? Achieving breakthroughs in energy technology could have a “transformative impact” on United States, offering major benefits for economic growth, job creation, lower energy costs for American families, and reduced oil consumption and carbon emissions. By 2030, the economic analysis finds that key energy innovations alone could provide the following benefits over business-as-usual:
- Grow the US economy by over $155 billion in GDP/year
- Create over 1.1 million new net jobs
- Save US consumers over $942/household/year
- Reduce US oil consumption by over 1.1 billion barrels/year
- Reduce US total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 13%