Feeds

Renewables good for 80 per cent of US demand by 2050

NREL spikes ‘can’t do baseload’ myth

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.