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Checklist of Green Deal Cost Elements

April 20, 2020

Green Deal proposals are springing up around the world. The core concept is zero CO2 emissions via decarbonization. The proponents of these Green Deals deliberately avoid cost estimates because the costs are horrendous.

Green Deal proposals are springing up around the world. The core concept is zero CO2 emissions via decarbonization. The proponents of these Green Deals deliberately avoid cost estimates because the costs are horrendous.

To help force these huge costs out into the open I have developed the following simple checklist of Green Deal cost elements. Any comprehensive cost estimate needs to address all of these elements, most of which are unbelievably expensive. I have included some comments on the cost drivers as well.

Note that social elements like those in the Green New Deal (free health care, etc.) are not included. My list is just about the cost of decarbonization.

Checklist of decarbonization cost elements (with comments)

A. Electric power grid

(with zero fossil fuel carbon emissions)

1. Generation (from central power plants)

Feasibility of CCS is a major unknown.

2. Transmission

Especially for widely distributed renewable sites.

3. Distribution

EV charging stations are a major addition.

4. In-building or facility distribution (behind the meter)

Most existing buildings may need rewired for EVs.

5. Generation behind the meter

Primarily solar.

Note: Electrification of transportation and other fossil fuel uses will dramatically increase the amount of electricity required to be generated, transmitted and distributed.

B. Transportation

Switch to EVs.

Use of biofuels and offsets, and their cost, are major unknowns.

1. Personal passenger vehicles

2. Medium trucks and vans (short haul)

3. Heavy trucks and busses

4. Trains

5. Airplanes

Cannot be electrified, except for short flights.

6. Ships

Cannot be electrified, except for short trips.

C. Industrial processes presently using fossil fuel combustion

Complete electrification

1. Steel making

2. Cement making

3. Refineries

4. Chemical plants

4. Plastic production from fossil fuels

5. Manufacturing

6. Commercial activity

7. Agriculture

8. Construction

D. Electrifying gas fired systems and equipment (non industrial)

1. Building heating systems

2. Equipment presently powered with internal combustion engines

From bulldozers to lawn mowers and portable generators.

3. Gas fired appliances,

Especially cook stoves and water heaters.

E. Energy efficiency

May be redundant with zero emission generation.

1. Buildings

2. Transportation

3. Industrial processes

F. Building public transit to reduce car usage

Redundant if cars are zero emission.

G. Transition support payments

Unemployment, training, relocation, etc.

[Originally posted at CFACT]

Author
David Wojick is a former consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science.
dwojick@climatechangedebate.org

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