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What’s the energy transition going to cost?

Estimates for the cost of decarbonising could be inaccurate. What does that mean for investment and policy-making?

About US$1.2 trillion is invested annually in climate technology and infrastructure worldwide, with significant portions allocated to China due to its accelerated decarbonisation goals. However, experts argue that about US$9 trillion could be needed annually to effectively counter climate change, indicating a substantial gap in current funding​. Debate continues over the economic feasibility of such costs, to the detriment of progress, but what if the cost was actually far less? RMI, the research and clean energy advocacy group, says that this may indeed be the case. These forecasts could be overinflated by trillions of dollars. If that’s true, what will it mean for investors, markets and policy?

Host David Banmiller is joined by Dan Goldman, managing partner at Clean Energy Ventures, a VC that funds startups developing early-stage breakthrough technologies. He says there’s a significant investment shortfall – regardless of the total cost of decarbonising – currently to stabilise global temperatures. He discusses a downturn in venture capital investments in climate tech, particularly affecting early-stage companies and innovation in new technologies. Challenges remain in scaling up clean energy technologies due to a combination of high-interest rates, inflationary pressures, and supply chain disruptions, which increase costs and complicate project implementations.

There's a specific shortfall in investment for infrastructure necessary for large-scale renewable energy implementations, like wind and solar, which are essential for a robust energy transition. David and Dan discuss how this could be addressed, and analyse the current economic environment, characterised by high costs and uncertain returns.

Are these barriers hindering significant capital flow into this sector, or the forecasted cost for decarbonising global energy systems? How can global financial strategies be adjusted to accelerate the necessary investments in clean energy and technology? Find out on the show.

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