Renewables and the US: Meeting the demand

By Pouyan Broukhim

A new report from the Wind Energy Foundation and David Gardiner and Associates has outlined the need for the US to expand and upgrade its energy transmission lines in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for renewable alternatives.

Many Fortune 500 companies are increasingly turning to renewable energy in the aim of reducing their carbon footprints, cutting costs, and improving their social responsibility in the face of growing pressures from the consumer.

However, whilst this is the case, the infrastructure currently in place in the US is set to cause problems in terms of satisfying this demand.

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The report cites that whilst the Central US region accounts for approximately 88% of the country’s wind technical potential and 56% of the country’s utility-scale solar photovoltaic technical potential, it is set to account for 30% of projected 2050 electricity demand.

“This finding suggests that future transmission is needed to export this electricity from this high-production region to the growing demand outside of this region,” the report reads.

Further, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), an organisation that represents more than 100 corporations, has set a goal of deploying 60GW of new clean energy capacity in the US by 2025.

With just 9GW of new renewable energy sources having been created 2013, this represents an aim of creating an additional 51GW within the next seven years – something that the US will have to prepare for.

In this sense, transmission planning is set to become a focal point of the US energy market throughout the coming decade, with current plans failing to account for this rapid growth.

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