What the U.S. electricity sector must do to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in coming decades.
This report was prepared by Revis James and Steve Gehl of EPRI’s Energy Technology Assessment Center, and Richard Richels and Geoff Blanford, economists in EPRI’s Environmental Sector.
The large-scale CO2 reductions envisioned to stabilize, and ultimately reverse, global atmospheric CO2 concentrations present major technical, economic, regulatory and policy challenges. Reconciling these challenges with continued growth in energy demand highlights the need for a diverse, economy-wide approach.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducted a three-part analysis to assess the technical feasibility of substantial CO2 emissions reductions from the U.S. electricity sector; to identify the technology development pathways and associated research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) funding needed to achieve this potential; and to evaluate the economic impact of realizing emissions reduction targets. Three major conclusions emerge in this study:
• The strategy for reducing electricity sector emissions will be technology-based. A technology-based strategy is sustainable, minimizes costs to the U.S. economy, and creates opportunities for decarbonization beyond the electricity sector and ultimately beyond the U.S. economy.