每日英語跟讀 Ep.K179: To Cut Emissions to Zero, U.S. Needs to Make Big Changes in Next 10 Years
If the United States wants to get serious about tackling climate change, the country will need to build a staggering amount of new energy infrastructure in just the next 10 years, laying down steel and concrete at a pace barely being contemplated today.
That's one conclusion from a major study released last month by a team of energy experts at Princeton University, who set out several exhaustively detailed scenarios for how the country could slash its greenhouse gas emissions down to zero by 2050. That goal has been endorsed by President-elect Joe Biden, as well as numerous states and businesses, to help avoid the worst effects of global warming.
The study's findings are at once optimistic and sobering. Reaching “net zero” by 2050 appears technically feasible and even affordable. Each approach carries different social and economic trade-offs.
The researchers identified a common set of drastic changes that the United States would need to make over the next decade to stay on pace for zero emissions. That initial groundwork has to start pretty much immediately.
—This year, energy companies will install 42 gigawatts of new wind turbines and solar panels, smashing records. But that annual pace would need to nearly double over the next decade, and then keep soaring, transforming the landscapes in states like Florida or Missouri.
—The capacity of the nation's electric grid would have to expand roughly 60% by 2030 to handle vast amounts of wind and solar power, which would mean thousands of miles of new power lines crisscrossing the country.
—Car dealerships would look radically different. Today, electric-vehicle models are just 2% of new sales. By 2030, at least 50% of new cars sold would need to be battery-powered, with that share rising thereafter.
—Most homes today are heated by natural gas or oil. But in the next 10 years, nearly one-quarter would need to be warmed with efficient electric heat pumps, double today's numbers.
—Virtually all of the 200 remaining coal-burning power plants would have to shut down by 2030.
“The scale of what we have to build in a very short time frame surprised me,” said Christopher Greig, a senior scientist at Princeton's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. “We can do this, we can afford this, but now it's time to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to get it done.”
「我們必須在非常短的時程內建造的規模令我驚訝。」普林斯頓大學安德林格能源與環境中心資深科學家克里斯多佛‧葛雷格說。「我們能做到，我們負擔得起，而現在是捲起袖子，搞懂如何做到的時候了。」Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5162022