Renewable Electricity Futures Study - Volume 1

Author:  Mai, T. | Wiser, R. | Sandor, D. | Brinkman, G. | Heath, G. | Denholm, P. | Hostick, D.J. | Darghouth, N. | Schlosser, A. | Strzepek, K.
Organization:  National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Report Date: 
2012
Report Summary: 

This NREL study provides an analysis of the grid integration opportunities, challenges, and implications of high levels of renewable energy generation for the U.S. electric grid system. 

Key Take-Aways: 
  • The report finds the renewable energy technologies are available today could supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 (with 50% provided by solar and wind) if there was a more flexible electric grid system.
  • Solar energy could contribute 13 - 22% of total electricity generated by 2050.
Key Facts: 
  • Technical potential of utility-scale PV and CSP is estimated at 80,000 GW and 37,000 GW respectively.
  • Technical potential of rooftop solar is estimated at 700 GW.