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Relative Costs to Eliminate CO2

March, 27 2010 at 04:01 PM  account icon posted by Norm Ruttan   image Be the first to comment »

How much does it cost for a given climate solution to eliminate (abate) a metric ton of CO2 emissions?

With plug-in hybrid vehicles, that ton costs around $12. With wind power, it's $20. With carbon capture and storage at coal-fired power plants, it's $44.

How much does that same ton of CO2 abatement cost using these behavioral programs? -$165. No, that's not a typo. It's a negative sign. As in: $165 worth of profit per ton of carbon pollution reduced.

If similar programs were expanded nationwide, Allcott and Mullainathan estimate a net value -- savings minus costs -- of $2,220,000,000 a year. Of course much research and testing remains to be done before it's clear whether these programs perform equally well at scale, but as a first approximation, that's not too shabby. (original paper: moderator)

Norm Ruttan
iWasteNot Systems