Clean energy costs have fallen so rapidly that previously unthinkable scenarios now look like a good deal for the U.S., a new study contends.
In just a few years, decarbonizing the grid went from a solar-lover’s pipe dream to something many major American utilities have committed to, from Southern Company to Duke Energy. But utilities typically pick a midcentury deadline, as do states that have passed such goals. That puts execution comfortably beyond the tenure of anyone in power today.
The new study, from UC Berkeley and GridLab, raises the stakes considerably. By using updated cost figures for wind, solar and batteries, the researchers found that it will be economically feasible to power a reliable grid by 2035, while only depending on natural gas for 10 percent of annual electricity production.