Extending US policies through 2040 can boost renewables, cut energy use
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2016
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has estimated that extending current tax credits and efficiency policies will increase renewables and reduce energy use, leading to lower energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The Extended Policies case in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2016 sees electricity generation from solar and wind sources across all sectors reaching 1,236 billion kWh in 2040, up from 227 billion kWh in 2015 and 30% above the Reference case level.
In the Reference case, which assumes current laws and policies, solar and wind generation increases to 950 billion kWh in 2040.
In the Extended Policies case production tax credits for renewable energy, which are due to expire or decline in 2017, and investment tax credits for solar energy, which begin to decline in 2020, remain unchanged through 2040.
In the Reference case, renewable generation experiences fast growth up to the credits expiration dates, while in the Extended Policies scenario growth is steadier and ultimately larger, EIA said.
The Extended Policies case also extends federal energy efficiency policies in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors, and tightens the Clean Power Plan beyond 2030.