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Google – Understand Electricity Generation Choose

Google Energy Strategies: “The goal of the Climate and Energy team in Google Research is to find abundant energy for everyone on the planet. We cannot reach this goal based on today’s fossil fuel technology, because the atmosphere can only absorb a limited amount of CO2 in the near-term. At the current rate CO2 production from combustion, humans will pass the limit for 2℃ average warming in less than 27 years. To reach the goal of abundant energy for everyone, we need to find a source of zero- (or very-low-) carbon electricity that is available 24×7 for all of world’s needs. Energy is an important part of the world economy: collectively, we spend about $6 trillion dollars a year on it. If we had a zero-carbon 24×7 source of electricity that was much more expensive than fossil fuels are today, then we would not reach the goal of abundant energy for everyone. Such an expensive solution will not give the benefits of plentiful energy to billions of people on the planet. What is the least expensive way to decarbonize electricity? Many analysts have come up with different answers to this question: 100% renewables plus storage, nuclear power, sequestering carbon from fossil fuels, or a mixture of these. At Google, we realized that the different answers came from different assumptions that people were making about the future of technology and policies. To help us understand, we created this tool that allows us to quickly see how different assumptions affect the future cost to generate electricity and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted…”

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