The United States can increase the use of renewable energy in its energy mix from 7.5 percent in 2010 to 27 percent by 2030, according to a new report released on January 12th, 2015.
“Renewable Energy Prospects: United States of America”, prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E), also says the US can increase its use of renewable energy in power generation from 14 percent to almost 50 percent by 2030, making it the world’s second largest renewable energy user after China.
IRENA’S REmap 2030 envisages that by 2030 total installed capacity of solar photovoltaics (PV) could reach 135 GW, compared to 7 GW in 2012. This raises the prospect of a revolution in distributed generation, with over one-third of solar PV capacity installed on rooftops. Many users would also become producers, requiring reform of the grid system.
IRENA Director-General Amin: “More can be done at limited cost”
“As the second largest energy consumer in the world, the US must continue to play a leading role in the global transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA.
“The recent agreement between the US and China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a groundbreaking step, but this report aims even higher, showing that more can be done at limited cost.”
With current policies in place, the share of renewable energy in the US energy mix will only reach 10 percent by 2030.
Higher renewable share could result in annual savings of USD 30 to 140 billion by 2030
REmap 2030 estimates that an annual investment of USD 86 billion between now and 2030 is required to reach the 27 percent renewables mark – an increase of USD 38 billion annually beyond a business-as-usual scenario. But, the higher renewable share will result in annual savings of USD 30 to 140 billion by 2030 when accounting for factors like human health and reduced emissions.
“REmap 2030 shows that the US could install significantly higher amounts of renewables – and that it can do so affordably,” said Mr. Amin.
“Even in a country with cheap shale gas like the US, renewable energy is still cost competitive and reduces air pollution, enhances energy security, benefits the economy, and plays a leading role in fighting climate change.”
The report is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap, REmap 2030, which provides a plan to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030 and determines the potential for the US and other countries to scale up renewable energy in the energy system, including power, industry, buildings, and the transport sector.
More information on the Remap 2030 report, including “Renewable Energy Prospects: United States of America” at www.irena.org/REmap.