This transition to an all-electric life — no gas stoves or water heaters — will also create jobs. One estimate believes the IRA will create nearly a million in year over ten years. They need to serve both red and blue regions: rural areas may have solar or wind farms to build and maintain, while bluer urban areas have many buildings that need better insulation and heat pumps. “What a great opportunity for us to create jobs that will be highly skilled, well-paid workers that cannot easily be outsourced,” Foley says. “You can’t insulate your attic from China.”
In an increasingly polarized US, a green economy should benefit the entire political spectrum. The November midterm elections showed just how seriously American voters have taken climate change. Democrats are heavily focused on the end Caviarof course, but also for climatewith candidates like Nevada Senator Katherine Cortes Masto and Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer works – and wins – on this issue. “You can see it didn’t cause a backlash in the election,” Stokes says. “Voters are really concerned about this.”
Meanwhile, European countries are rushing to work out their own climate change, thanks in large part to Russia cutting gas supplies after its invasion of Ukraine, and the explosions that shut down the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. between Russia and Germany. (Germany, for example, pledged this summer reduce gas consumption by 20 percentand in Poland, heat pumps, which quadrupled since 2017— accelerated after the invasion.) “When it gets cold – like January, February – it becomes a problem,” says Philip Webber, chairman of Scholars for Global Responsibility, who studies British home efficiency and influence Ukraine’s wars with the energy system.
Part of this response has been governmental, such as negotiating gas deals with other suppliers, increasing solar energy production, and limiting the use of energy in public spaces. Some cuts have taken place in industry, both in factories and office buildings. But like in the US, much of that conservation is focused on households. In March, the International Energy Agency published 10 point plan to wean the European Union off Russian gas, and four of them were aimed directly at consumers: cutting energy prices, improving the energy efficiency of buildings, turning off thermostats and, yes, installing heat pumps.
But not all energy-focused financing efforts are resolved. In November when his energy system went down deeper into crisisgovernment of the united kingdom announced he will spend $7 billion to make housing more energy efficient. Houses in the UK obviously full of holesthat is, people should use more energy for heating, while the cost of energy is skyrocketing and supplies are depleting. (And burning more wood to heat houses is not a sustainable solution.) However, that $7 billion won’t come until 2025, after the next UK general election in May 2024, when climate-conscious Labor politicians could take over. and accept much more ambitious low-carbon plans anyway. They call $70 billion– 10 times more – just to insulate houses over the next decade.
Improved insulation and heat pumps are definitely unattractive solutions, and they’re not yet widespread enough to prevent cold winters for people in the places hardest hit by the energy crisis. But they are absolutely important in the future. While the events of 2022 provided a big boost, Webber says, it’s a transition that will take some time and be worth the effort. “Even if you don’t care about climate change, you’ll feel more comfortable and use less energy,” says Webber. “I think it’s about upgrading your standard of living as much as anything else.”