The US could deliver 90% carbon-free electricity by 2035 at no extra cost to consumer bills and without the need for new fossil fuel plants.
That’s according to a new study released by the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, which suggests a rapid increase of renewable energy would inject $1.7 trillion (£1.3tn) of investment into the US economy and increase energy sector jobs by up to 530,000 every year through 2035.
The report also notes delivering 90% clean electricity could avoid $1.2 trillion (£950bn) in environmental and health costs through 2050 by reducing damage from air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
Researchers have found the 2035 target could give sufficient time to most coal and gas plants to recover their fixed costs to avoid the risk of increased costs for consumers and investors.
Amol Phadke, Senior Scientist and Affiliate at UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Public Policy, said: “This is the first report to integrate the latest low prices for renewable energy and storage and shows it is technically and economically feasible to deliver 90% carbon-free electricity on the US power grid by 2035.”
David Wooley, Professor at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy and Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Public Policy, commented: “This outcome isn’t possible without strong policy changes and our hope is this report can help inform the dialogue on federal, state, and corporate policies needed to achieve it.”