80 Percent Renewables at Mid-Century?

Scientists from major U.S. research institutions have brought out the “Renewable Electricity Futures Study,” pronouncing the very real the possibility of 80 percent renewable energy by 2050.

The study looked straight at the elephant in the room: At such high levels, “the unique characteristics of some renewable resources, specifically geographical distribution and variability and uncertainty in output, pose challenges to the operability of the U.S. electric system.” That, of course, raises questions of whether “the U.S. power system can supply electricity to meet customer demand with high levels of renewable electricity.”

The three key questions the study tried to answer were:

(1) How much electricity can U.S. resources supply?

(2) Can the U.S. electric power system handle high levels of variable wind and solar photovoltaics (PV)… Read more

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