As environmental activists continue to promote the use of renewable energy across the United States, one question critics have raised is whether such alternatives would result in a less reliable electricity grid. However, a new report may help to dispel this apprehension.
On April 17, the Civil Society Institute and Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. released the results of a joint study that revealed that if the United States stopped burning coal, cut back on the use of natural gas and shut down a number of nuclear reactors by 2050 in exchange for relying on wind, solar and other forms of renewable power, it would not have a negative effect on the electricity grid.
The data suggests that electricity generation supply could meet or exceed demand in 99.4 percent of hours when using renewable energy resources, and indicates that there would be no need to turn to reserve storage.
“Put simply, the message today is this: It is a myth to say that the United States cannot rely on renewables for the bulk of its electricity generation,” Dr. Thomas Vitolo, an analyst at Synapse who co-authored the report, said in a press statement. “This study finds that the projected mixes, based entirely on existing technology and operational practices, are capable of balancing projected load in 2030 and 2050 for each region – in nearly every hour of every season of the year.”
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