Renewable Electricity Futures Study - Volume 1

Renewable Electricity Futures Study

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

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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.

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