Magazine article USA TODAY

Renewables Should Be in Place by 2050

Magazine article USA TODAY

Renewables Should Be in Place by 2050

Article excerpt

If the U.S. ceases to burn coal. shuts down one-quarter of existing nuclear reactors, and trims its use of natural gas--all by 2050--the resulting increased reliance on wind, solar, and other renewables will not result in a less reliable electricity grid, according to a report prepared by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., for the nonprofit Civil Society Institute, Santa Clara, Calif.

The study finds that, in the envisioned 2050--with a heavy reliance on renewables--regional electricity generation supply could meet or exceed demand in 99.4% of hours, with toad being met without imports from other regions and without turning to reserve storage. In addition, surplus power would be available to export in 8.6% of all hours, providing an ample safety net where needed from one region to the next.

"This study shows that the U.S. electricity grid could integrate and balance many times the current level of renewables with no additional reliability issues:' insists Grant Smith, senior energy analyst at the Civil Society Institute. "Recent improvements in both renewable technologies themselves and in the technologies that are used to control and balance the grid have been proceeding at a rapid pace, and the incentives and rewards for success in this area continue to drive substantial progress. …

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