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Published on October 23rd, 2017 | by John Farrell


Reminder: The Fight For 100% Renewable Is Political

October 23rd, 2017 by  

Originally published at ilsr.org.

As an increasing number of cities across the US pledge their commitment to purchase 100% of their power from renewable sources in the coming decades, some researchers questioned the feasibility of such energy policies. One recent 100% study takes the position that it is impractical for the continental U.S. to commit to 100% water, wind, and solar (WWS) energy sources between 2050 and 2055.

This article started off a Twitter discussion about the study, and more broadly, about the possibility of a 100% WWS energy commitment becoming reality. The studies are focused solely on the technical and economic challenges of the commitment. My 10-part response notes that we have to be focused on the politics, since it’s in city councils and statehouses that decisions actually happen.

Here’s the lead tweet:

My concern was that by criticizing the analysis there’s an implied criticism of the goal of 100% renewable energy, and that goal is what is motivating a movement toward clean energy that we need.

This post originally published at ilsr.org. Subscribe to our weekly Energy Democracy update or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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About the Author

directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at jfarrell@ilsr.org.

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