The White House has begun setting ambitious and tangible milestones to achieve a 100% clean grid in the coming decades, establishing a 2030 target of 80% clean power en route to the Biden Administration’s stated ambition of a fully decarbonised grid by the year 2035.
The target is uniquely ambitious and incorporates the use of wind, solar, nuclear and carbon capture, reported Reuters. The announcement comes alongside a new analysis from research firm Energy Innovation that demonstrates achieving the ambition would result in a windfall of benefits to US regions, including $1.5 trillion USD in clean power investment.
1/ EXCLUSIVE White House backs 2030 milestone on path to net zero grid. But what you may have missed, is @reuters also broke the release of new @EnergyInnovLLC @GoldmanSchool @gridlab research showing how we can do it. #2030Report. https://t.co/bWf7oZkkiI
— Mike O'Boyle (@oboylemm) April 27, 2021
The analysis also finds that an 80% clean power target by 2030 would not jeopardise the reliability of power grids and would not come at a cost in terms of power bills.
Without additional policies, the US power grids would only achieve 45% clean electricity by 2030. The report argues that a policy known as a ‘Clean Electricity Standard’ (CES) ought to be implemented to ensure a rapid grid transformation occurs. The report also models the impact of 100% new EV sales and 80% medium and heavy duty vehicle sales by 2030, which results in significant additional demand in the US grid.
The report also finds that the transition can be made with full removal of coal from the grid and no additional gas-fired power stations. ” An ambitious federal CES that’s achievable in the reconciliation window is perhaps the most consequential climate win we could hope for from this administration. Clean electricity is the lynchpin of decarbonization, essential to our planet, and there is no time to wait”, said Mike O’Boyle, Director of Electricity Policy at Energy Innovation.
Another analysis released today by the Rocky Mountain Institute finds that US could play a pivotal global role in limiting the world’s warming to 1.5C, beginning with and reliant upon a rapid transition in the country’s electric grids in the coming years.
“Our analysis reveals that limiting cumulative emissions requires that the United States prioritize immediately replacing existing fossil fuel infrastructure with efficient, zero-emissions alternatives, wherever possible. Because these immediate investments reduce more total emissions, they both have the largest impact on reducing the extent of climate change and provide more time to learn and define the more technologically difficult options needed to get to net-zero emissions”, wrote the researchers.