In his State of the Union speech in January 2011, President Barack Obama declared, “Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.”
In contrast to that worthy goal, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides a different goal—business as usual—as illustrated in the following figure. According to this figure, 14 percent of renewables and not 80 percent will contribute to the generation of electricity by 2035.
As of 2008 renewable energy consumption (wind, photovoltaic, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, and solar) contributed 7 percent to electrical generation. An increase from 7 percent (2008) to 80 percent (Obama’s goal for 2035) represents a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent, which is rather ambitious.
Figure. Electricity generation by fuel, (1990-2035).
Business Development Issues
Sometimes a commercialization path can be established based on government regulatory requirements. That approach may be next to impossible given the contradictory signals from President Obama and the DOE.Tags: Electricity Generation, Fuel Mix, Lower Carbon Options, Obama State of Union, Renewable Energy