Today, Google announced the first version of Clean Energy 2030 – a proposal to significantly reduce U.S. fossil fuel use by 2030. Clean Energy 2030 has been published on Google Knol and is open for comment. Dr. Eric Schmidt, Google CEO and Board Chair, will also be discussing this plan at a talk he will be giving at The Commonwealth Club this evening.
The following are some highlights from the plan:
Reductions (from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s current baseline for energy use) in the following areas:
- Fossil fuel-based electricity generation by 88%
- Vehicle oil consumption by 38%
- Dependence on imported oil (currently 10 million barrels per day) by 33%
- Electricity-sector CO2 emissions by 95%
- Personal vehicle sector CO2 emissions by 38%
- US CO2 emissions overall by 48% (40% from today’s CO2 emission level)
- Deploying aggressive end-use electrical energy efficiency measures to reduce demand 33%.
- Replacing all coal and oil electricity generation, and about half of that from natural gas, with renewable electricity, consisting of 380 gigawatts (GW) wind [300 GW onshore + 80 GW offshore], 250 GW solar [170 GW photovoltaic (PV) + 80 GW concentrating solar power (CSP)], and 80 GW geothermal [15 GW conventional + 65 GW enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)]
- Increasing plug-in vehicles (hybrids & pure electrics) to 90% of new car sales in 2030, reaching 42% of the total US fleet that year
- Increasing new conventional vehicle fuel efficiency from 31 to 45 mpg in 2030
- Accelerating the turnover of the vehicle fleet from 19 to 13 years (resulting in 25 million new vehicle sales per year in 2030, a 31% increase over the baseline)
The projected cost of the Clean Energy 2030 plan would be $4.4 trillion (in undiscounted 2008 dollars) over the 22-year term of the plan. However, the plan states that the savings would be $5.4 trillion, yielding an overall savings of $1.0 trillion during the course of the plan.
Google has been involved in a variety of clean energy initiatives (the links at the end of this post provide some examples). Also, below is the keynote address delivered by Dr. Schmidt at the recent Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) Annual Meeting. In this address Dr. Schmidt shares his perspective on a range of topics, including Google’s green initiatives and possible public and private sector strategies for addressing climate change.
For more information: