MIT study: clean energy is a good investment

A study by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change has found that even if you are a cold, calculating investor with no regard for human welfare or externalized costs, your best bet is to ramp up investment in clean energy infrastructure. The study accounted for the uncertainty in climate change policy given the current administration.

From the Joint Program press release:

“The risk of underinvesting in non-carbon is greater than the risk in overinvesting,” says Jennifer Morris, the study’s lead author and a research scientist at the Joint Program. “If you build a lot of non-carbon infrastructure and there’s not a strict policy, then you have sunk some of your investment in unnecessary costs, but the operational costs are low and you’ll continue to use that generation. But if you overinvest in fossil fuel infrastructure and a strict policy such as a carbon tax is imposed that requires dramatic emissions reductions, you’ll end up with a lot of stranded assets. You’ll need to not only shut down power plants but also invest more in non-carbon technology, which will cost you more because you didn’t make previous non-carbon investments.”