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Renewable Energy Becoming Worth It?

By Jan 15, 2007
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You’re reading an older article from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. Some content, such as code-related information, may be outdated. Find the most up-to-date content at ECmag.com/magazine/articles.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, experts say the costs of producing renewable fuels are declining; a November 2006 report from Rand Corporation predicts that if costs continue to decline at the current rate, renewable sources of energy could supply 25 percent of the country’s electricity by 2025 without adding extra costs to the economy. The study, which focused on 1,500 possible scenarios, also predicted that renewable energy would be 20 percent less costly to make in 20 years. And if costs fall even faster, the country could save $30 billion in energy costs by 2025. The report further estimated that 1 billion tons of carbon emissions might be eliminated by 2025.

“There is an emerging consensus that we need to enter a rapid transition to clean energy technology,” said Reid Detchon, executive director of the Energy Future Coalition, which commissioned the Rand study.

Energy expert Amory Lovins, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, asserts that some renewable fuels are already competing robustly in terms of cost performance, adding that there has been about $60 billion invested in renewable energy sources globally this year.

Shimon Awerbuch, an energy economist at the University of Sussex, England, said that having a significant amount of wind power in an energy portfolio helps dampen the effects of coal and natural gas price fluctuations. EC

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