Thursday, February 5, 2009

Carbon Control in the U.S. Electricity Sector: Key Implementation Uncertainties

This Report by the Congressional Research Service (7-5700) finds that from the policy research and technical studies that substantially reducing CO2 emissions in the U.S. electricity sector over the next few decades would likely require every
key carbon mitigation measure at the nation’s disposal. However, it is also clear that significant uncertainty exists about the potential of individual measures to achieve their hoped-for carbon impact:
• Energy efficiency—Can the United States overcome socioeconomic barriers to
achieve four times more potential savings than ever before?
• Renewable energy—Will there be enough transmission for wind power? Is there
enough land to grow the needed biomass?
• Nuclear power—Could the United States build new plants fast enough to
• Advanced coal power—Will banks fund them and regulators approve them?
• Carbon capture and sequestration—Will the technology be commercially
deployable in 10 years, 25 years, or never?
• Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—How much “low carbon” electricity would be
available to charge their batteries?
• Distributed energy resources—Would carbon costs change distributed energy
economics enough to spur deployment?

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