Integrating more renewables into the US grid will be costly and have unintended consequences, including potential for increased carbon emissions, that policymakers need to plan for, warns a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative study.
The study, unveiled Monday, looked at what needs to be done to accommodate increasing percentages of renewables on electricity grids, said MITEI head Ernest Moniz.
The study’s message for policymakers and regulators is that intermittent sources will cost more for total operations, and they have to decide who is going to pay for it – a message that is “not popular,” conceded MIT Professor John Deutch.
Problematic for Generators
The US in 2011 received about 42% of its electricity from coal, 25% from natural gas, 19% from nuclear, 8% from hydro and less than 5% from renewables, but more than half the states are pursuing policies requiring more renewables use.
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