LONDON — Scientists and economists including BP Plc’s former chief executive officer, John Browne, are inviting governments to join a $150 billion program that aims to make clean energy cheaper than coal.
The 10-year plan, known as the Global Apollo Programme to Combat Climate Change, will fund research into renewables, power storage and smart-grid technologies to make them cheaper than fossil fuels. It aims to create an international task force of scientists, entrepreneurs and policymakers.
“There is a looming catastrophe that can be avoided,” David King, an Apollo founder and former chief scientific adviser to the U.K. government, said in London. “What we need to do is create clean energy that is less costly than fossil energy, and once we get to that point, we’re winning all battles.
”Apollo already has attracted considerable interest from countries including India, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, King said. The project plans to make public its members by November, ahead of the United Nations climate change talks in Paris the following month.
Apollo’s goal is for new-build renewables to be cheaper than new-build coal plants in sunny countries by 2020, and worldwide from 2025. Generating electricity from the sun currently costs about $136 a megawatt-hour on average, compared with about $91 for coal, according to Bloomberg estimates.