Full Title: Renewable Electricity Futures Study (Executive Summary)
Author(s): Trieu Mai, Debra Sandor, Ryan Wiser, and Thomas Schneider1
Publisher(s): National Renewable Energy Study (NREL)
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the continental United States over the next several decades. This study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels—from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all U.S. electricity generation—in 2050. At such high levels of renewable electricity generation, the unique characteristics of some renewable resources, specifically geographical distribution and variability and uncertainty in output, pose challenges to the operability of the nation’s electric system.