80 Percent of Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2035?08 Mar

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).

Electricity generation by fuel

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.

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.


For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.