Renewable Energy Institute releases a new report today: “Renewable Energy in the US Power Sector, the Other Revolution.”
Despite President Trump’s energy policy, electricity generation from renewable energy is expanding rapidly in the United States, particularly wind and solar power. Between 2010 and 2017, electricity generation from renewable energy increased by about two-thirds, thanks to dramatic cost reduction. In contrast, coal power has lost cost competitiveness and decreased by one-third. And in this period, national CO2 emissions from electricity generation have decreased by more than 20%.
This report analyzes the latest developments of renewables in the United States from various perspectives. Based on data, it presents the status of renewable energy deployment in the 50 States of the country and examines regulatory framework and supportive policies at the federal and State levels. It shows impressive cost reduction of wind and solar power as well as how renewable energy is contributing to substantially reduce CO2 emissions by replacing fossil power. It also introduces successful options for grid operations with significant penetration of variable renewables. The current situation and the future direction are explained with concrete examples.
Electric utilities are changing their business models to survive in this new paradigm. They are increasingly deploying renewable energy at the expense of fossil and nuclear power plants to meet the demand of business and residential customers. Large corporations tackling climate change are accelerating investments in renewable energy. Communities and households are also contributing to make the change happen. All these observations should benefit the energy debate in Japan.
<Table of Contents>
- Chapter 1: Key Developments in the US Power Sector, with a Focus on RE
- 1. National level; the beginning of the “other revolution”
- 2. Regional penetration of RE; unevenly distributed progresses
- 3. The US as a “patchwork”
- Chapter 2: Benefits and Challenges from RE Expansion
- 1. RE economic cost competitiveness
- 2. Reduction of CO2 emissions
- 3. Grid integration of VRE
- 4. Market integration of close to zero marginal cost RE
- 5. Keeping track of RE electricity
- Chapter 3: The Leaders of RE Deployment
- 1. Electric utilities
- 2. Businesses
- 3. States, cities, communities, and households