$200 Billion investment needed to meet 2050 electricity demand

The Western Grid Group has a Clean Energy Vision (CEV) for the Western States and they compare and contrast their approach with Business As Usual (BAU) case for our energy future.  The WGG has produced a 165 page review of these competing visions and it is available here:  Clean Energy Vision.

Beside the full report (8 MB download that can be found on the site) there is an executive summary (as seperate pdf) and the Key Findings.  This effort is supported by major environmental groups advocating the use of renewables and alternative energy sources that can be used to add the infrastructure required but in a sustainably sensible manner. 

More than $200 billion will be invested in the electricity sector in the West by 2030.  Investment is needed to replace aging generating units and respond to new energy demand from population growth, and economic expansion and electrification of the transportation fleet.

Western Grid 2050 analyzes Business As Usual (BAU) and Clean Energy Vision (CEV) development trajectories for the 11 western states and compares their economic, environmental, security and public health impacts. The report is intended to illuminate differences between alternative futures to emphasize the importance of making intentional policy and investment choices that shape the West’s electricity landscape.

My guess is that there will be incremental additions to renewable and alternative energy sources and some reduction in certain CO2 sloppy BAU technologies.  It certainly will not be purely one approach or the other.  There are too many entrenched actors, to many agencies subject to regulatory capture and too many vested interests to make optimal public policy and investment decisions.

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