For Iraq War cost, US electricity could now be 40% wind and solar.

Paul Gipe in REW: “Now, after a decade, that bill has come due. How much renewable energy could we have built with the money we spent? How far along the road toward the renewable energy transition could we have traveled? The answer: shockingly far.”“The war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion through fiscal year 2013, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. ….Because the war was financed with debt, we should also include a charge for interest on the debt. The Iraq war’s share of cumulative interest on the U.S. debt through 2053 will raise the total cost of the war to $3.9 trillion. …..What should that mix look like? Research by French renewable authority Bernard Chabot concludes that the optimum mix requires that 60 percent of the generation — not of the capacity — must be from wind, and 40 percent of the generation from solar. Recent studies in Germany and Australia have confirmed Chabot’s work. ….Based on a conservative estimate, the U.S. could have built between a quarter-million to nearly a half-million megawatts of wind energy, and 300,000 to 600,000 megawatts of solar capacity. For comparison, today there are only 60,000 MW of wind in the U.S., and a paltry 7,000 MW of solar. If we had invested the $2.2 trillion in wind and solar, the U.S. would be generating 21 percent of its electricity with renewable energy. If we had invested the $3.9 trillion that the war in Iraq will ultimately cost, we would generate nearly 40 percent of our electricity with new renewables. Combined with the 10 percent of supply from existing hydroelectricity, the U.S. could have surpassed 50 percent of total renewables in supply. However, this is a conservative estimate.”