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Can Renewable Technologies Provide U.S. Electricity Needs? (Only hypothetically, using unrealistic assumptions)

By Mary Hutzler -- April 7, 2009

Several reports (see here and here) and certain websites (here) allege that renewable technologies can meet our growing electricity needs and also meet stringent reduction targets for carbon dioxide. For example, Climate Progress, a website populated by Joseph Romm, an assistant secretary of energy during the Clinton administration, indicates that the answer to our growing electricity needs will come from energy efficiency (including cogeneration), wind power, concentrated solar power (CSP), and biomass co-firing, which taken together will meet a projected 1 percent annual growth rate in demand while also reducing carbon emissions.

These reports are in sharp contrast to forecasts produced by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent agency of the U.S. Department of Energy.…