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Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

A new post from UC Berkeley's Energy Institute at Haas looks broadly at Joe Biden's revised climate plan, including the goal of achieving 100% carbon-free U.S. power by 2035.

The intrigue: Flashback for a moment to a June study co-authored by Berkeley analysts that found a cost-effective case for achieving 90% power sector decarbonization by 2035. But, what about the remaining 10%?

The bottom line: That final 10% is much tougher and marks where the price tag soars, per an updated analysis shared by economist Meredith Fowlie in the blog. Here's why...

  • "To completely decarbonize the electricity grid, you either need to invest in CCS or shut off all fossil fuels and rely on some relatively expensive alternatives (e.g. more storage, hydrogen fuel cells)."
  • "[D]riving power sector GHG emissions to zero more than doubles the marginal cost per ton of carbon pollution avoided, pushing into the $100–$125 range."
  • "And higher costs mean higher electricity prices which could make it harder to cut GHGs in sectors we are hoping to electrify like transportation and buildings."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Oct 10, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Why climate change is a time bomb

Smokestacks in China. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The costs of keeping global warming below 1.5°C would exceed the economic benefits up through the year 2100, according to a new study.

Why it matters: One of the biggest challenges to climate action is time delay: we need to pay now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we won't experience the full benefits of those actions for generations into the future.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
4 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.