By 2035 the $11 billion that Oregon currently spends on fuels for electricity and transportation will be a small fraction of that sum. Households, businesses, and municipalities will save money if they plan for new clean-energy technologies, because the fuel and maintenance costs for wind and solar power and electrified transport are already far lower than for fossil-fuel infrastructure. Meanwhile the toxic emissions from transportation fuels kill more people than vehicle accidents, not counting other premature deaths by toxics from electricity generation.
We are in the early stages of a clean-energy revolution that is driving down the costs of all forms of energy. As we gain experience in manufacturing clean-energy technologies like wind, solar, and electric vehicles, their capital costs are dropping for the same reasons that costs of flat-screen TVs and LED lighting are dropping. Extractive energy industries cannot compete with the new technologies, so demand for coal has already peaked, oil will be next, and then fossil natural gas will die off.
The Northwest will enjoy job creation directly from clean-energy jobs and indirectly by keeping energy spending in the state. Households and companies will save money and time, even as they clean up the air. Businesses will motivate employees and improve customer perceptions as they go green.
Clean-energy deployment will be paced by economic factors, including technology learning rates, payback periods as influenced by project specifics and financing options, infrastructure replacement cycles, and various government policies. Examples include tactics for household and business savings, and options for a comprehensive emissions plan and planning process for Oregon will be presented.
6:45 PM: Tour the Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building, which generates more energy than it uses.
7-8 PM: Presentation by Eric Strid, a retired high-tech CEO who has been studying clean energy from multiple perspectives, over the past five years.
See all the 2017 Earth Week Actions