Gridworks Carbon Dioxide Happy Hour

Cost declines are revised downwards annually. Source: GridLab

To avoid catastrophic climate impacts, most existing studies aim for 100% renewable electric power systems by 2050. The 2035 Report is the first to show that the United States could reach 90% clean, carbon-free electricity by 2035 with existing renewable energy and battery technologies while lowering customer electricity bills.

The last of Gridworks’ Elemental Happy Hour series was anchored by Ric O’Connell, Executive Director of GridLab.  Ric shared the results of the 2035 Report and key takeaways such as:

  • A 90% clean system includes 70% variable renewable (wind and solar), 20% firm renewable (hydro and nuclear) and 10% gas.
  • 1100GW of wind and solar and 150GW of battery storage in the next 15 years seem like big numbers, but considering that 500GW of wind and solar projects are already in the interconnection queue, here we are  talking about 2-3x increase, not 5-10x

The report further claims that, on the path to 90% over the next 15 years, $1.7 trillion can be injected into the economy, supporting a net increase of more than 500,000 energy sector jobs each year, and reducing economy-wide emissions by 27%. This future also retires all existing coal plants by 2035, reduces natural gas generation by 70%, and prevents up to 85,000 premature deaths by 2050.

Ric’s slides from the presentation are available here.  


Post by Deborah Shields