Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dark Side of Matter Post Advanced power-grid research finds low-cost, low-carbon future in West








The least expensive way for the Western U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to help prevent the worst consequences of global warming is to replace coal with renewable and other sources of energy that may include nuclear power, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.


One possible scenario for the electricity system in the Western U.S. in 2026-29. Pie charts show the proportion of different types of energy sources generating power and flowing between load areas if there were a carbon tax of $70 per ton. According to the SWITCH model, such a tax could allow the West to reach a goal of 54% of 1990 emissions by 2030.

To achieve this level of decarbonization, policy changes are needed to cap or tax carbon emissions to provide an incentive to move toward low-carbon electricity sources, Kammen and the other study authors said.






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