Renewable Electricity Futures for the United States

Trieu Mai, M. Maureen Hand, Samuel F. Baldwin, Ryan H. Wiser, Greg L. Brinkman, Paul Denholm, Doug J. Arent, Gian Porro, Debra Sandor, Donna J. Hostick, Michael Milligan, Edgar A. Demeo, Morgan Bazilian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus Citations


This paper highlights the key results from the Renewable Electricity (RE) Futures Study. It is a detailed consideration of renewable electricity in the United States. The paper focuses on technical issues related to the operability of the U.S. electricity grid and provides initial answers to important questions about the integration of high penetrations of renewable electricity technologies from a national perspective. The results indicate that the future U.S. electricity system that is largely powered by renewable sources is possible and the further work is warranted to investigate this clean generation pathway. The central conclusion of the analysis is that renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of the total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the United States.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6690152
Pages (from-to)372-378
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-58804


  • Energy storage
  • power generation dispatch
  • power generation economics
  • power system planning
  • power systems
  • renewable energy
  • solar energy
  • wind energy


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