Feeds

Renewables good for 80 per cent of US demand by 2050

NREL spikes ‘can’t do baseload’ myth

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.