The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
The federal agency responsible for collecting and analyzing data on all sources of energy thinks very little of the potential impact of renewable power in the future.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today released an early and abridged version of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook with forecasts for all energy sectors. The EIA projects solar, wind and other renewable energy sources will account for 28 percent of U.S. electrical growth over the next 25 years.
The agency also believes that renewables will account for just 16 percent of U.S. energy generation by 2040. The advance edition of the report was not well received by those who promote the adoption of renewable energy.
"Even if government support lessens in future years, competitive and ever-lower prices coupled with the pressures of climate change virtually assure that renewables will continue to grow at rapid rates that substantially exceed EIA's projections," said Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign.
"Inasmuch as policy makers in both the public and private sectors rely heavily upon EIA data when making legislative, regulatory, investment, and other decisions, the agency has a responsibility to provide better renewable energy projections that more closely reflect the real-world growth rates of recent years."
The EIA's predictions are a far cry from the assertions made by the likes of Alternet and Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson, who both believe the U.S. and the rest of the planet can be powered by renewables. However, the EIA's projection for renewables nearly mirrors the International Energy Agency's (IEA) outlook for the world. The latter organization said nuclear and renewable energy would combine to meet 40 percent of power demands by 2040, as fossil fuel subsidies and costs associated with renewables decrease. IEA believes renewables would meet about half of that 40 percent.
Bossong used some of EIA's figures from other reports, along with those of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to further argue how off-base he finds the projections to be:
- Ten years ago, non-hydro renewables accounted for 2 percent of U.S. electrical generation, tripling to more than 6 percent in 2013. The sources of power have grown every year over the past decade, unlike nuclear, coal, natural gas and oil.
- From 2003 to 2012, wind power output grew more than twelve-fold and is on track to increase by another 20 percent this year. Wind now accounts for more than 4 percent of the nation's net electrical generation and many wind farms in the planning stages or under construction will provide electricity at a cheaper rate than fossil fuels or nuclear power.
- Over the same nine-year period, solar power output increased by more than eight times and, in recent years, has been sustaining the highest growth rates of all energy sources, accompanied by rapid price drops.
"(EIA) continues a trend of low-balling forecasts for the future contribution of renewable energy sources to the nation's electricity production that have not been borne out by actual experience," Bossong said.
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By George Citroner
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.
But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.
It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.
For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.
He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.
But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.
By Julia Conley
Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.