Energy Innovation Benefits Jobs, GDP, Emissions, and Security

Clean Energy Innovation could accelerate economic growth and improve energy security while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All the breakthrough technology and policy scenarios examined here created substantial economic and net job growth across the country by 2030. Breakthrough innovations in clean energy added $155 billion per year in GDP, creating 1.1 million net jobs, while reducing household energy costs by $942 per year, oil consumption by 1.1 billion barrels per year, and carbon emissions 13% by 2030 vs. Business as Usual (BAU).

Key Learning: Energy Innovation Benefits Jobs, GDP, Emissions, and Security

Reaching Tipping Points in Electric Vehicle (EV) Batteries Could be Transformative

Breakthroughs in battery technology could push EVs over cost-performance tipping points, enabling mass adoption. In our model, rapid decreases in battery costs and increases in energy density by 2030 enable the production of electric vehicles with 300 mile range and a total cost of ownership lower than that of internal combustion vehicles. This leads to EVs, Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PHEV) achieving 90% market share for light duty vehicle sales, reducing oil consumption by 1.1 billion barrels per year by 2030 -- or more than Canada’s entire 2009 oil production.

Key Learning: Reaching Tipping Points in Electric Vehicle (EV) Batteries Could be Transformative

Cheap Grid-Storage: Significant Opportunity and Unintended Consequences

In the long run, cheap grid-scale electricity storage can create large economic and environmental benefits for the US. It improves power quality and reliability, lowers power prices by allowing more efficient dispatch, and enables much higher penetrations of intermittent solar and wind than would otherwise be possible. Our modeling indicates that grid storage, when combined with breakthroughs in solar and wind could increase renewables deployment by up to 35% by 2050.

In the short term, much cheaper storage, absent innovations in wind and solar that reduce their cost to below coal, could actually drive an increase in coal consumption. Cheaper storage would enable already cheap coal units to run at peak efficiency 24 hours/day, store energy at night and dispatch it during the day -- reducing the demand for load-following natural gas capacity and ultimately resulting in a slight (0.3%) increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Key Learning: Cheap Grid-Storage: Significant Opportunity and Unintended Consequences
Analysis and assumptions by Google.org. Analysis executed using McKinsey & Company's US Low Carbon Economics Tool. www.google.org/energyinnovation.