In a report published by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures), by 2050, 80% of total U.S. electricity generation could be supplied by renewable energy sources that are commercially available today.
“Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today,” writes NREL, “in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.”
Other key findings include that the “abundance and diversity of U.S. renewable energy resources can support multiple combinations of renewable technologies that result in deep reductions in electric sector greenhouse gas emissions and water use.” Also: “The direct incremental cost associated with high renewable generation is comparable to published cost estimates of other clean energy scenarios.”
This, of course, is encouraging news for those interested in a more energy efficient and green energy supply. That it can supply 80% of the U.S. energy demand gives the country’s energy entrepreneurs and the government some flexibility in encouraging new technologies.
This is the type of capitalist, free market innovation the world needs.
RE Futures, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is a collaboration with more than 110 contributors from 35 organizations including national laboratories, industry, universities, and non-governmental organizations.
Head over to NREL for more information on the report.