REmap 2030, a global roadmap by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), looks at the realistic potential for higher renewable energy uptake in all parts of the US energy system, including power, industry, buildings, and the transport sectors. It also provides an overview of how higher shares of renewable energy can be achieved, what the technology mix would entail, and the benefis of renewable energy deployment. With such comprehensive scope, REmap fils an important knowledge gap for renewables in the US.
The renewable energy share in the US energy mix was 7.5% in 2010 (the base year of REmap 2030 analysis). This included 2.5% renewable power, 1.6% liquid biofuels and the remaining, 3.4%, largely solid biomass used for heating in the manufacturing industry and buildings.
Under a conservative “business as usual” case, known in this report as the Reference Case, this share will only increase to 10% by 2030. The REmap analysis shows that it is technically feasible and cost-effective to increase the renewable energy share in total final energy consumption to 27% by utilizing existing renewable energy technologies.
Increasing the renewable energy share to 27% would save the US economy between USD 30 and USD 140 billion per year by 2030 when accounting for benefits resulting from reduced health effects and CO2 emissions.