Sunil Paul Releases Gigaton Throwdown Report

Joel Makower | two steps forward | July 23, 2009

This blog post highlights former OTA analyst Sunil Paul’s recent initiative, Gigaton Throwdown , which asked, “What would it take to aggressively scale up clean energy to have a major impact on job growth, energy independence, and climate change over the next ten years?”

The project involved dozens of people  and asked how a single technology could reduce carbon dioxide emissions and  greenhouse gases  by a gigaton (1 billion metric tons) by the year 2020.

“The markets for clean technology involve a coordinated effort in three principal areas: technology, policy, and capital. Each of these plays a role in scaling technologies, clean or otherwise, and each of these “levers” must be pulled in proper sequence so as to create sustained, orderly markets that can exist without subsidies.” Makower said.

The report concludes that seven of the nine technologies analyzed  have the potential today to scale up rapidly and massively by 2020.  “We sort of already get the technology pieces of it,” Paul said.   “And we know there is a lot of capital sitting on the sidelines that is ready to invest given the right kind of long-term opportunity.” What’s needed now, he says, is political leadership and action.

The complete Gigaton Throwdown report and more can be found  at the initiative’s  website.