Renewable energy could provide 80% of US electricity – but at what cost?

By Mark Jaffe

The United States could be getting 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050 and all it would take is doubling the pace for installing renewable energy sources and then doubling it again and somewhere between $320 billion and $1 trillion – on top of a baseline $4 trillion in investments.

Of course, the costs and the pace of renewable energy will depend upon the demands for power and the rate of technological change for wind, solar and geothermal power.

Those, in a gross over-simplification, are the findings of the “Renewable Electricity Futures Study” – a monumental, four-volume, 865-page opus – by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden… Read more

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