RAND Corp., a Santa Monica, Calif.-headquartered nonprofit research corporation, recently released a report titled ‘Impacts on U.S. Energy Expenditures of Increasing Renewable Energy Use.’ The report shows that renewable energy sources could produce 25% of the electricity and motor vehicle fuels used in the U.S. by 2025 (25x'25) at little or no additional cost if fossil fuel prices remain high enough and the cost of producing renewable energy continues falling.
The Energy Future Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, asked RAND to assess the economic and other impacts of meeting the 25x'25 goal. The report indicates that meeting the 25x'25 target would not increase total national energy spending if renewable energy production costs decline by at least 20% between now and 2025 – unless long-term oil prices fall significantly below the range currently projected by the Energy Information Administration.
RAND examined 1,500 cases of varying energy price and technology cost conditions for renewable and nonrenewable resources during the study. The company found that an estimated 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced and 2.5 million barrels of oil consumption would be displaced if the goal were met.
The study is available for download at www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR384/