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Renewable Overload

Waxman-Markey RES creates land-use dilemmas.

Fortnightly Magazine - August 2009

current investment levels (due to learning curve technology developments), and improved output performance more than 50-percent higher than current wind project performance. From the combination of these two assumptions, the studies have vastly underestimated the cost and technology challenges created by a rapid wind-development expansion.

RES Pressure

More than 346 TWh of 2020 power sales already have been set aside for renewable resources by 29 existing state RPS standards. In prior studies, EIA and EVA have concluded these existing standards will be difficult to meet given current renewable resources, industry capability and their higher production costs. A higher national RES will place additional pressure on renewable markets and would require additional development of most of the U.S. non-federal forested land. With competition for limited biomass and open land resources (to grow biomass) with ethanol feedstocks (required to meet existing renewable fuel standards), food crops and forest industry products, higher RES requirements will materially increase the risk of forest land shortages and higher prices for food and feedstocks.