Economic Development News & Insight


Is the U.S. ready for 80% reliance on renewable energy?

/ December 1, 2014

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Is the U.S. ready for 80% reliance on renewable energy?

The United State’s ecological footprint can only be described as colossal. However, technology developments and studies estimate that by 2050 80 percent of the country’s electricity will be provided through renewable resources including wind and solar.

There is an anticipated collapse of the current energy distribution model by adapting to a new way of generating and receiving electricity.

Homes, buildings and businesses are expected to be much more energy efficient through renewable resources installed in backyards and on rooftops. This will change energy consumption from a one-way power flow to a two-way system, feeding power back into the grid.

Currently renewable energy generates about 20 percent of energy consumption in California. This number is only expected to grow as new solar power generators come online and wind farms begin popping up nationwide.

Texas managed to break the record for wind power generation in 2014 while New York City has been building wind turbines on top of buildings.

What ultimately spurs this quick adaption to renewable energy technology? Cost.

The cost of the technology to develop and push renewable energy is dropping and continues to drop quickly. With the rate of electricity generated from utility-scale solar power installations dropping more than 70 percent since 2008, solar is becoming a cost-effective option. This allows for commercial buildings and large stores the opportunity to have solar panels installed on rooftops.

The renewable energy potential through development in renewable energy technologies and economical prices has the US federal government pushing utilities to develop better power grids that can manage the new two-way energy exchange.

The outlook on 2050 is that the most populated areas in the US will be able to generate their own power via energy efficiency and renewable power through wind and solar installations. While each area will adapt its renewable energy plan to suit their needs, locally produced energy will be easily accessible as every area of the US has the ability to generate renewable energy.

Read the 2012 study on US renewable energy potential here.

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