Renewable energy could power 90% of the US demand for electricity by 2035 at no extra cost to consumers, Fermin Koop writes for ZME Science on June 12, 2020.

Koop said the report “2035 Report: Plummeting Solar, Wind, and Battery Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future” by the University of California showed how consistent reductions in cost for solar, wind, and battery storage could allow the US to curtail fossil fuels usage.

Retaining existing hydropower and nuclear capacity, as well as much of the existing natural gas capacity, and in combination with new battery storage would be enough to meet US electricity demand with a 90% clean grid by 2035, the study concluded. Under this scenario, the researchers assume all existing coal plants have been retired by 2035.

Doing so would mean a $1.7 trillion injection into the country’s economy, increasing energy-related jobs by up to 530,000 per year through 2035, across all regions of the US — and all without raising consumers’ bills. What’s more, a 90% renewable energy matrix would avoid $1.2 trillion in environmental and health costs through 2050. In 2018, the UN warned the world only has twelve years to cut emissions in order to limit warming to 1.5ºC.