Energy: To achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 requires building a new, large nuclear power plant every 2 days
Or building the equivalent of a large nuclear plant every 2 days:
So the math here is simple: to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, the world would need to deploy 3 Turkey Point nuclear plants worth of carbon-free energy every two days, starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050. At the same time, a Turkey Point nuclear plant worth of fossil fuels would need to be decommissioned every day, starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050.
Net-zero carbon dioxide by 2050 would require the deployment of ~1500 wind turbines (2.5 MW) over ~300 square miles, every day starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050.
To reach net-zero by 2050, the US would need to deploy one new nuclear power plant worth of carbon-free energy about every 6 days, starting this week, and continuing until 2050. This does not include possible increases in future energy consumption.
What about net-zero by 2030, 3,746 days from today? Globally, such a target would imply, starting tomorrow, the deployment of >4 nuclear power plants per day, and for the United States, the deployment of a new nuclear plant about every other day.
The challenges are large but it is important to understand that in the context of factfulness. Or perhaps call it climate realism.