Myth 6: Fossil fuels are better for the economy than renewable energy

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Myth 6: Fossil fuels are better for the economy than renewable energy

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Belle Mellor

We need to look at the truth with fossil fuels. For years the fossil fuel industry has said how expensive renewable energy is and that we need too much new technology. But now we have the technology, and it’s cheaper.

So renewable energy is not more expensive than oil and coal. In 2013 in Australia, wind power energy was cheaper than energy from new coal and gas power stations. Energy from the old coal power stations (from the 1970s and 80s) is cheaper, but only because the energy has already paid for the construction of the power stations.

It’s similar in other countries. In 2014 in the US, wind and solar energy was cheaper. And this year wind power on land in Britain is cheaper than other energy.

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It’s very clear – with better technology making it cheaper, energy from wind and air are free. And water for wave power never ends.

So government needs to support and invest in technology to help with problems like transport and increasing production of renewable energy. Because the future of oil is not good. The US is still producing a lot of oil. But a lot of the oil industry is in trouble trying to keep the low prices. About 75,000 jobs have already been lost. And the fracking companies are in a lot of debt.

But the biggest sustainability problem is the environmental damage of fossil fuels. The IMF calculated that this is worth $5.3 trillion a year – or $10 million every single minute –6.5 per cent of the world’s GDP.

These calculations cannot cover everything. For example, how much money should they pay for all the early deaths because of air pollution from fossil fuels?

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/features/2015/12/01/fossil-fuels-economic/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).