A peer-reviewed study determined only 1544 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology must be deployed to eliminate the use of fossil fuels on the U.S. electric grid entirely, if PV is conservatively deployed as a function of population density. They also made sure to conserve $1b for each investor to live on while their money was non-liquid. To be clear, it would be an investment - not charity - they get their money back with profit and the US gets lower-cost green electricity. The article discusses why they might want to make this investment with numerous examples of the 79 already making investments of philanthropy in these areas.
Previous research showed this would increase jobs and provide higher pay for current fossil fuel workers.
The study also made sure to conserve $1 billion for each investor to live on while their money was non-liquid. Dr. Joshua Pearce, lead author on the study, noted, “To be clear, we analyzed the potential investment, not charity – the 79 individuals would get their money back with profit while providing America with lower-cost green electricity.”
But why would these individuals want to make this green investment? Because they already do. A few have invested in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a billion-dollar fund backed by some of the world’s top entrepreneurs and investors, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Bloomberg. Other multi-billionaires on the list, like Elon Musk of Tesla, believe sustainable energy solutions are technologically viable and have been working aggressively for their success. In addition, many of the companies they control have made substantial investments in solar; they’re already familiar with the technical and economic potential of the technology. For example, Google officially hit its 100% renewable energy target in 2018, and Walmart has made a public commitment to solar, with the second most on-site PV of any company in the world.
Pearce concludes, “Solar works technically, it lasts for over 20 years, and it’s clearly profitable, but it is a capital investment. Many Americans do not have access to the capital for PV anymore. What America needs now are aggressive, wealthy investors that want to be green while earning a profit to help speed the end of the fossil fuel era in the U.S.”
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