The United States could deliver 90% clean electricity nationwide by 2035, without the need for new fossil fuel plants, according to a study released today from the University of California, Berkeley — with the right policies.
If those policies aren’t put into place, the potential for clean energy, jobs, and cutting health costs will be squandered.
The report suggests:
The rapid buildout of additional renewable energy would inject $1.7 trillion of investment into the economy and increase energy sector jobs by up to 530,000 per year through 2035, across all regions of the US, without raising consumer bills. Delivering 90% clean electricity by 2035 also avoids $1.2 trillion in environmental and health costs through 2050 by reducing damages from air pollution and carbon emissions.
Wind, solar, and battery storage can provide the bulk of the electricity.
The report also comes with a set of recommendations on how to achieve this goal from nonpartisan policy firm Energy Innovation that can be read here.
Dr. Amol Phadke, senior scientist and affiliate at UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Public Policy, said:
Cost reductions in clean technology have occurred much faster than anticipated just a few years ago. This is the first report to integrate the latest low prices for renewable energy and storage and shows it is technically and economically feasible to deliver 90% carbon-free electricity on the US power grid by 2035.
Recent research published in Environmental Science and Policy found that not only would two US presidential terms of inaction create a situation where any chance of hitting emissions targets would be pushed to near zero, it would also have a knock-on effect internationally.
The US has incredible potential to lead the world in the shift to green energy, and this new Berkeley study confirms that. Indeed, it’s vital for our planet’s future that both the US and China get on board and take similar steps to what the EU is taking now in their green stimulus packages. There is good movement at the state and city level in America, but it needs federal support and leadership to truly be effective. EPA rollbacks aren’t helping.
To put it bluntly, the world simply cannot afford the inertia and backward movement that the US federal government has allowed and even promoted since the beginning of 2017.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.