A new 66 page report commissioned by The Edison Foundation and conducted by the Brattle Group, details the energy demand of the U.S. through 2030. Key findings are that U.S. electricity consumption is projected to grow 26% through 2030 requiring a further 259GW of capacity, excluding 30GW, which would be in need of decommissioning in that period.
Lots of charts and such like depict what where and when, exept there is only one use of the word ‘solar’ throughout the pages! Stuffed in with ‘renewable’ may not be all that bad for solar but the report claims that wind and bio-mass will be the dominant renewable energy source, putting solar in the marginal use category due to cost issues.
The report didn’t break-out the solar contribution but renewable energy could be responsible for 100GW plus by 2030.
Sweeping solar under the carpet hasn’t done this report any good and perpetuates the notion that solar is a peripheral power producer now and in the future. Most people reading this blog will know that solar costs are a moving target and grid parity across a major range of regions should be reached well before the end of the period in this report. No mention or analysis of solar was made, nor for that matter of any renewable.
Without that analysis and transparency to this report clearly wrong conclusions and misconceptions of solar will be made. On that point, a Reuters blog does just that and I haven’t bothered to check on the Bedrock Enquirer and Sleepy Town Examiner for there understanding.
Having read this report and ones just like it over the last few years, my own recommendation is to read it if you must and then forget it ever existed. Not because it is obviously flawed in many ways, but because I doubt anyone knows what transformations in energy production will take place by 2030, not least because solar has currently the biggest impact to make and that impact hasn’t happened yet!