Feeds

Renewables good for 80 per cent of US demand by 2050

NREL spikes ‘can’t do baseload’ myth

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

One of the greatest objections made against the use of renewable energy for electricity supply, that only coal, gas or nuclear power can sustain a modern economy’s baseload power generation demand, has come under scrutiny in a new report by America’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

In fact, the NREL’s Renewable Electricity Futures Study finds, renewable technologies available today – finds that technologies already commercially available today could, if deployed right, supply 80 per cent of America’s needs by 2050, “while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country”.

Although the main focus of the renewable debate is on wind and photovoltaic, the report notes that other commercial technologies will be required, including geothermal, biomass, wave power, and hydro. Wind and photovoltaic still figure most prominently in the study, with models putting their input at 50 per cent of national demand.

Nor are the economics prohibitive. The report modeled a range of renewable targets, from 30 per cent to 90 per cent, and found that in the 80 per cent renewable model, the cost of renewable generation is “comparable to published cost estimates of other clean energy sources”.

“Improvement in the cost and performance of renewable technologies is the most impactful lever for reducing this incremental cost,” the report states.

The key challenge, the report finds, is in re-engineering the electricity grid to cope with the geographical distribution, variability and uncertainty in output from individual renewable power plants. In this, the NREL study agrees with recent work from Australia's science agency CSIRO looking at how national grids need to change to accommodate high-penetration renewable energy. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
ALIEN BODY FOUND ON MARS: Curiosity rover snaps extraterrestrial
And NASA kept evidence to itself for over a month
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years
ETs, habitable planets will soon pop up with our new 'scopes
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.