Half a million jobs, 25% drop in utility carbon pollution for just 2 cents a day per household
Back in May 2008, I reported on an amazing study on U.S. wind potential by the Bush Adminstration (see “Bush DOE says wind can be 20% of U.S. power by 2030 “” with no breakthroughs).” The study concluded 20% penetration was straightforward:
- Annual installations need to increase by only a factor of three from current levels by 2018.
- Costs of integrating intermittent wind power into the grid are modest. 20 percent wind can be reliably integrated into the grid for less than 0.5 cents per kWh.
- No material constraints currently exist.
- This would require 300,000 MW of wind, delivering electricity for about 6 to 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour, unsubsidized (i.e. no federal tax credit) and including the cost of transmission to access existing power lines within 500 miles of wind resource].
- The 20% Wind Scenario could require an incremental investment of less than 0.06 cent (6 one-hundredths of 1 cent) per kilowatt-hour of total generation by 2030, or roughly 50 cents per month per household.
We are well on our way toward that target (see “EIA projects wind at 5% of U.S. electricity in 2012, all renewables at 14%, thanks to Obama stimulus!“). In the rest of this post, Tom Kenworthy, Senior Fellow at American Progress, updates the story with the latest study from the Department of Energy: