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What Would it Take to Reduce US Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80% by 2050?

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  • Geoffrey Heal

Abstract

I investigate the cost and feasibility of reducing US GHG emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050. The US has stated in its Paris COP 21 submission that this is its aspiration. I suggest that this goal can be reached at a cost in the range of $37 to $135 bn/year. I assume that the goal is to be reached by extensive use of solar PV and wind energy (66% of generating capacity), in which case the cost of energy storage plays a key role in the overall cost. I conclude tentatively that more limited use of renewables (less than 50%) together with increased use of nuclear power might be less costly.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Heal, 2016. "What Would it Take to Reduce US Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80% by 2050?," NBER Working Papers 22525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22525
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    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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