According to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the U.S. can increase its use of renewable energy from 7.5 percent to 27 percent in 2030. “Renewable Energy Prospects: United States of America,” (ReMap 2030) also concludes the U.S. can increase its use of renewable energy in power generation from 14 per cent to almost 50 percent by 2030, making it the world’s second largest renewable energy user after China.
“As the second largest energy consumer in the world, the U.S. must continue to play a leading role in the global transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of IRENA. “The recent agreement between the U.S. and China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a groundbreaking step, but this report aims even higher, showing that more can be done at limited cost.”
The reports predicts that based on current policies in place, the share of renewable energy in the U.S. energy mix will only reach 10 percent by 2030. REmap 2030 estimates that an annual investment of USD 86 billion between now and 2030 is required to reach the 27 percent renewables mark – an increase of USD 38 billion annually beyond a business-as-usual scenario. But, the report argues, the higher renewable share will result in an annual savings of USD 30 to 140 billion by 2030 when accounting for factors like human health and reduced emissions.
“REmap 2030 shows that the US could install significantly higher amounts of renewables – and that it can do so affordably,” said Amin. “Even in a country with cheap shale gas like the U.S., renewable energy is still cost competitive and reduces air pollution, enhances energy security, benefits the economy, and plays a leading role in fighting climate change.”
The report is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap, REmap 2030, which provides a plan to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030 and determines the potential for the U.S. and other countries to scale up renewable energy in the energy system, including power, industry, buildings, and the transport sector.