Decision-Making for High Renewable Electricity Futures in the United States

M. Bazilian, T. Mai, S. Baldwin, D. Arent, M. Miller, J. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus Citations


Our research suggests that in 2050, 80% of total U.S. electricity demand could be supplied by renewable electricity technologies that are commercially available today at a cost similar to or lower than published estimates for other clean energy scenarios. In order to achieve this goal, the U.S. power system will need to evolve toward increased efficiency and system flexibility - in part enabled by grid expansion and new operating procedures. Adjustments in business models, market rules, and regulatory regimes may also be needed to handle these high levels of renewables with their different financial and operating characteristics. This short Report Review highlights aspects of policy, regulation, finance, markets and operations that can help enable high penetration renewable energy electricity generation futures. It uses analytical results from the NREL Renewable Electricity Futures (REF) Study [1] as a basis for discussion. As technical issues have been shown not to be key impediments for this pathway at the hourly level for the bulk system, we focus on other aspects of public and private decision-making. We conclude by describing how the REF might inform future research and development by the scientific community.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)326-328
Number of pages3
JournalEnergy Strategy Reviews
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A50-60738


  • Energy modeling
  • Energy policy
  • RE integration


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