Solar Could Supply One-Third Of Western US Power By 2050 says a new University of California at Berkeley study, reports Ryan Koronowski at Climate Progress. This could be done if federal cost-reduction targets are met and the region adopts reasonable carbon policies. The cost of solar has been declining rapidly, and it has proliferated in use faster than many thought possible. The Berkeley study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, analyzed how widespread solar could reasonably become in western North America by mid-century. They developed a model that determined the optimal investment of solar generation, transmission, and storage across the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). This is the grid rich with renewable resources that serves 14 Western states, plus British Columbia, Alberta, and northern Baja California in Mexico. The crucial factor in the study was the impact of solar cost-reduction targets on the broader energy mix. The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative was announced in 2011 with the goal of reducing total solar costs by 75 percent by 2020, to be cost-competitive with other large-scale forms of energy without subsidies. This is key to a Western solar future.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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