Some 52 GW of new renewable capacity required under state RPS schemes

A new study, Renewable Energy: The Bottom Line, by Global Energy Decisions and others says that improvements in economics, technology and government policy are creating opportunities for some 52 GW of new renewable capacity in the US over the next 15 years.

State Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), the report says, will require 52 GW of new capacity, of which some 40 GW is expected to come from wind, and which will drive more than $53 billion in new investment. The study also finds that while just 25 utilities will be responsible for 63% of RPS, 75 utilities will be responsible for bringing this figure to 76%.

The report goes on to say that wind, geothermal and landfill gas are the only renewable energy technologies that are economically viable as central generation, or grid-based technologies based on their fixed and financing costs.

Wind’s costs (including the federal Production Tax Credit) are now competitive to new gas-fired combined cycle plants in most markets, the report adds, although transmission is a key barrier to wind development.

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