Wind power and solar energy can meet 80% of U.S. generation in 2050

A new report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) seeks to find the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the U.S. over the next several decades. The study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels—from 30 percent up to 90 percent, focusing on 80 percent, of all U.S. electricity generation from renewable technologies — in 2050.

Amongst the findings, the report reveals that renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, are more than adequate to supply 80 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.

The report also reveals that the abundance and diversity of U.S. renewable energy resources can support multiple combinations of renewable technologies that result in deep reductions in electric sector greenhouse gas emissions and water use.