Bill Gates discusses what he calls the Green Premium, which is the extra costs that it takes for us to transition all the way to clean energy, from dirty energy that doesn’t pay for the pollution that it causes. The concept is important because while there are cheap types of clean energy, such as solar and wind, they don’t get us all the way, since they are intermittent. The Green Premium speaks to the types of investments that we have to make to develop the technologies that can address not just converting our grid but also industry, transportation, agriculture, buildings and everything, everywhere. The “last mile” is the hardest and most expensive parts of the project.
Looking at the costs of the Green Premium for addressing all facets of the transition to clean energy, points to where we need to innovate and invest in better options for reducing the total Green Premium. That is what advanced nuclear ventures are doing: they are competing with that Green Premium as it exists for decarbonizing more broadly across all aspects of our economy and enabling us to transition at a much lower average cost.
Read more at “A Green Premium: Where we should spend money on climate innovation,” an article printed in Time Magazine, which is an essay adapted from Bill Gates’ book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.”