Upward revision: Can the U.S. build 70 gigawatts of renewables a year? (Photo: Duke Energy) It will be feasible to power the U.S. on 90 percent clean electricity by 2035 thanks to stunning declines in the costs of renewables, a new study finds. In just a few years, decarbonizing the grid went from a solar-lover’s pipe dream to something many major American utilities have committed to , from Southern Company to Duke Energy. But utilities typically pick a midcentury deadline, as do states that have passed such goals. That puts execution comfortably beyond the tenure of anyone in power today. The new study , from UC Berkeley and GridLab, raises the stakes considerably. By using updated cost figures for wind, solar and batteries, the researchers found that it will be economically feasible to power a reliable grid by 2035, while only depending on natural gas for 10 percent of annual electricity production. “Previous studies concluded either we need to wait until 2050 to decarbonize or the bills will go up if you decarbonize,” said co-author Amol Phadke on a call with reporters. “I think we really need to revisit these conclusions because of the dramatic decline in costs.” No […]

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