Report: U.S. can “affordably” triple RE to 27% by 2030

IRENA has called for the U.S. to step up policies in support of renewable energy, concluding that under current policies renewables will only reach 10% of energy share by 2030. By contrast, IRENA says that the U.S. can achieve a renewable share of 27%, in what is both a cost-effective technically feasible scenario.

IRENA released its report Renewable Energy Prospects: United States of America today. The report is part of IRENA’s REmap 2030 roadmap.

To reach the 27% renewables share, US$86 billion must be invested annually between now and 2030, an increase of $38 billion on a business-as-usual scenario. While this investment is hardly trivial, IRENA concludes that annual savings of between $30 billion and $140 billion will be achieved through the renewables switch, due to positive health impacts and emission reductions.

“REmap 2030 shows that the US could install significantly higher amounts of renewables – and that it can do so affordably,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Even in a country with cheap shale gas like the US, renewable energy is still cost competitive and reduces air pollution, enhances energy security, benefits the economy, and plays a leading role in fighting climate change.”

The REmap roadmap maps out a proposed doubling of global renewable energy share by 2030. This includes the power and industry, building and construction and transport sectors.

“This report adds to the growing chorus of studies that show the increasing cost competitiness and potential of renewable energy in the US,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Center. “Importantly, it shows the potential of renewables isn’t just limited to the power sector, but also has tremendous potential in the buildings, industry and transport sectors.”

IRENA will hold its fifth Assembly next week in Abu Dhabi. 150 countries and representatives from 110 international organizations will be present. The event will be held concurrently with the World Future Energy Summit (WFES). pv magazine will be reporting from WFES throughout the week.