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Biden’s plan can lead to massive acceleration in investment in renewable power

Oil&Gas Materials 22 January 2021 09:49
Biden’s plan can lead to massive acceleration in investment in renewable power

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.22

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

New US President Biden’s target of a carbon-free power sector by 2035 is extremely ambitious and would require a massive acceleration in investment in renewable power generation and energy storage solutions, Will Scargill, Managing Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, said, Trend reports.

Biden aims to move ambitiously to generate clean, American-made electricity to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. “This will enable us to meet the existential threat of climate change while creating millions of jobs with a choice to join a union.”

In 2019, U.S. annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded coal consumption for the first time since before 1885, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review. This outcome mainly reflects the continued decline in the amount of coal used for electricity generation over the past decade as well as growth in renewable energy, mostly from wind and solar. Compared with 2018, coal consumption in the United States decreased nearly 15%, and total renewable energy consumption grew by 1 percent.

Total renewable energy consumption in the United States grew for the fourth year in a row to a record-high 11.5 quadrillion Btu in 2019. Since 2015, the growth in U.S. renewable energy is almost entirely attributable to the use of wind and solar in the electric power sector. In 2019, electricity generation from wind surpassed hydro for the first time and is now the most-used source of renewable energy for electricity generation in the United States on an annual basis.

GlobalData’s current outlook for the US power sector sees renewables continuing to achieve rapid growth, increasing their share of total generation from around 20 percent currently to over 35 percent by 2035, driven by solar and wind.

“Fossil fuels, which represent around 60 percent of generation today, are still expected to contribute half of US power generation as gas generation remains relatively stable while coal declines. The replacement generation needed to phase out fossil fuels would be equivalent to a quadrupling of the growth currently expected in renewables.”

He noted that there may be some room to meet the target of a carbon-free power sector while retaining some fossil fuel generation through implementation of carbon capture and storage. “However, we would expect such a transition to rely primarily on renewables growth, which would also necessitate a parallel acceleration in energy storage capacity. The ambitious nature of the target does not mean it is unachievable though, as there is still plenty of room for growth in US renewables. In particular, the nascent US offshore wind sector is currently on track to be less than 25 percent of the size of the European sector by 2030.”

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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