U.S. Clean Power Plan Underestimates Renewables Potential
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could almost double the 2030 renewable energy targets in its Clean Power Plan, from 12% to 23% of total generation, and dramatically increase its carbon reduction goals, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported this week.
The new analysis “builds on the EPA’s approach while utilizing the latest available market data, demonstrated rates of growth in renewable energy, and existing state commitments to deploy renewables,” the UCS states. “The EPA has underestimated the amount of renewable energy that can cost-effectively contribute to state emission reduction targets,” yielding targets that “result in barely any additional renewable energy beyond what would have occurred under business as usual.”
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By adopting the more aggressive renewables target, the EPA could boost carbon reductions under the Clean Power Plan from 30% to about 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.