R&D needed for a stable climate

Darcy Hitchcock

For the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change included an analysis of technology and innovation. Governments and industry must invest in climate solutions, but which ones? What has the best chance of keeping us below the 1.5 C degree goal? Some of the recommendations are counterintuitive.

Big problems benefit when solutions start small

In the last decade, the stellar standouts are solar, wind and batteries. Costs have plummeted, making renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels.

2009 to 2019. Source: https://ourworldindata.org/cheap-renewables-growth

Part of the success was the ubiquitous opportunities for use: tiny solar panels can charge your phone, larger arrays can power your house, and larger systems yet can power communities. Similarly better batteries can power your phone or your car, or store energy for your community. Innovation happening at all these scales has a compounding effect.

The success of wind, solar, and batteries is “really counterintuitive to what…

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