I was reading the news and saw numbers on how much money spent on climate "research", subsides and other related project.
For the USA only:
Federal anti-climate-change spending is now running at $11 billion a year, plus tax breaks of $20 billion a year.
So I was wondering how much this 31 billion a year could buy in term of clean energy like nuclear. For sure we need clean energy in developing nation more than in industrialized nations.
Therefore my example, will take China which has become the larger CO2 emitter in the world by a large margins. According to many report, this will continue until 2030 before leveling off. India is also growing faster.
CO2 per say is not a big problem, but related emission from those sources can cause pollution problems.
China is already building a lot of nuclear but is building coal at a fast pace. Let say we used that 31 billion a year to build more nuclear power....
According to the world nuclear organization, the "overnight" cost of building 1 kW in Asia is around 2500$. For this quick calculation, I will leave out the other costs which are trivial.
31,000,000,000 / 2,500 = 12,400,000 kW or 12,400 MW every year of clean nuclear power.
That would be enough to displace 3 coal plant of 3,000MW per year.
According to EIA, a coal plant produce 2 pound of CO2 / kWh. So displacing 12,400MW of coal power would save 24,800,000 pound of CO2 per hour or 217,248,000,000 pound per year or 98,542,035 metric ton. The graph above is expressed in millions (M) of (Thousand metric tons). so 98,542,035 is 98,500 Thousand metric tons.... to get to only 1M, you would need to keep that rate for 10 years. So to get to north American level of emission, you would need 50 years at the rate of replacing 3 coal plant per year with nuclear.
In conclusion, if CO2 was really a major issue, we would not spend that money for nothing but would build nuclear power like crazy.
Remember, those are dollar amount for only the USA climate spending and did a rough calculation just to put some perspective on how much real impact we could have with that amount of money.