Is Increased Renewable Energy Development the Answer to Reducing Carbon Emissions?

Van P. Hilderbrand Jr., Jeffrey M. Karp, and Morgan M. Gerard

As the dust settles amidst the hoopla and angst surrounding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) final promulgation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (the final Plan), a theme has emerged—renewables are expected to be a major energy source. From proposal in 2014 to US EPA’s final rule in August 2015, the share of renewables in the agency’s forecast of the US power sector in 2030 jumped from 22 to 28 percent. Concomitantly, the final Plan further highlights the anticipated strong presence of renewable energy resources in the states’ future energy mix as a means to meet their respective targets to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

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