Yesterday, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a seminal study detailing the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the continental United States over the next several decades.
The Renewable Electricity Futures Study “explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels” by 2050, focusing on 80 percent of all U.S. electricity generation from renewable technologies.
“It’s the most rigorous and deep study of a high-penetration renewable electricity future that’s been done,” said RMI Program Director James Newcomb. A key question, he said, is to find the right balance between large-scale renewables and small, distributed renewables. “Perhaps more important is that the transition to a more distributed future requires fundamental changes in the utility business model.”
Watch now, and learn:
- How Reinventing Fire explores a different path to high renewable electricity generation, one based on distributed, local renewable resources, rather than on utility-scale generation
- The security and economic benefits of distributed renewables
- How RMI is convening stakeholders through its Next Generation Electricity initiative and eLab to enable a high renewable, distributed resource future
“The beginnings of this transition are already here in terms of technology and economic milestones,” Newcomb said. “But there’s a lot still to accomplish.”