• 17 hours Gold Miners Brace For Seasonal Downturn
  • 1 day The Silver Plunge Continues
  • 2 days 7 COVID Vaccine Stocks To Plan Upside Moves
  • 2 days Rhodium Climbs Reaches Record Highs
  • 3 days Tesla Tumbles After Battery Day Fails To Impress
  • 3 days Three Energy ETFs To Watch This Decade
  • 4 days What To Do With $2 Trillion In Suspicious Bank Transactions?
  • 5 days How The Stock Market Predicts Electoral Victory
  • 5 days Tesla's "Battery Day" Could Deal A Blow To Cobalt Miners
  • 6 days New TikTok Deal Hopes To Bypass National Security Concerns
  • 6 days Where Will Gold Go From Here?
  • 7 days COVID-19 Is Fueling A Pastic Waste Crisis
  • 7 days Gold Output Set To Decline
  • 8 days Uber And Lyft Look To Go Electric
  • 9 days COVID-19 Is Crushing Palladium Demand
  • 10 days This ‘Once-Boring’ Tech Company Is Now Super Hot
  • 11 days Will Air-Based Protein Be Our Future Food?
  • 11 days Google Pledges To Go Carbon-Free By 2030
  • 12 days A New Twist In The TikTok Saga
  • 12 days Gold Inches Closer To $2,000
Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Oilprice.com

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Commodities
  3. Energy

How Much Would It Cost The U.S. To Ditch Fossil Fuels?

Green

Decarbonizing the U.S. grid and replacing fossil fuels with renewables could cost US$4.5 trillion in investments over the next 10 to 20 years, Wood Mackenzie analysts have calculated.

Such a move away from fossil fuels would require the installation of 1,600 GW of new solar and wind capacity, the research firm said. This compares with a total capacity of 1,060 GW across the United States, of which 130 GW renewable capacity.

Yet a lot more generation capacity is not all, either. A lot of utility-scale storage installations would also be necessary to make the power produced by solar and wind farms reliable enough to replace fossil fuels in the long run. More precisely, Wood Mac’s analysts have calculated the storage capacity needed at 900 GW.

This sort of change has no precedent, the research firm said, and would necessitate a complete overhaul of the power generation industry.

"The challenges of achieving 100% renewable energy go far beyond the capital costs of new generating assets. Most notably, it will need a substantial redesign of electricity markets, migrating away from traditional energy-only constructs and more towards a capacity market," said Wood Mac’s head of Global Wind Energy Research, Dan Shreve.

If the complete transformation to a fossil fuel-free U.S. is to be done by 2030, this would mean adding more renewable capacity every year over the next 11 years than has been added over the last 20 years combined.

Yet, there is a middle ground: pushing the all-renewables deadline further into the future and allowing some natural gas capacity in the mix. According to Wood Mac’s analysts, if 20 percent of the energy generated in the U.S. comes from natural gas, this would cut renewable installations costs by 20 percent as well, but it will also help reduce energy storage costs by as much as 60 percent.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment