NREL Reports on Recent Analysis
With our ability to generate electricity for a full 24 hours with no need for fossil fuel or other clean energy supplementation, OceanBased Perpetual Energy represents a substantial part of America’s growing ambition to achieve a 100 percent renewable energy grid.
But expanding this end-goal across the entire United States presents an equally expansive set of challenges—and the plausibility of doing so has been a topic of fervent debate among the energy research community in recent years.
What exactly is the definition of a “100 Percent Renewable-Powered Grid?” In a recent paper, a team of 17 power systems experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) not only attempts to define what that grid would look like, but offers important insights into the technical and economic challenges that would need to be overcome to achieve 100 percent renewable electric power across the United States.
Published in the journal Joule, the paper is entitled “The Challenges of Achieving a 100% Renewable Electricity System in the United States” and funded by EERE’s Office of Strategic Analysis.
Rather than focusing solely on the end goal of a 100 percent renewable grid, NREL explains, the paper’s authors evaluate the challenges of incorporating renewables change with increasing deployment.
“This is partly due to the lack of detailed engineering analysis of 100% renewable systems at the national scale—but also because practical plans for achieving the target would not be developed from a blank slate,” explains NREL’s Devonie McCamey in her discussion about the paper’s publication. “Robust 100 percent renewable solutions must consider how to optimally use existing power system assets.”
To read McCamey’s article and get a link to the EERE paper, click here.