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New Study: Lower Emission Future Is Likely More Affordable for Consumers

This week, Synapse Energy Economics released the first glimpse of a study modeling and comparing two possible futures for the electricity sector–one with cleaner energy and lower emissions and the other with business as usual energy investments.  What may come as a surprise to some, especially given the rhetoric of opponents of EPA’s Clean Air Act rules, the “Clean Energy Future” scenario could save electric consumers $41 billion in the year 2040 as compared to business as usual.

Here’s a short summary of Synapse’s assumptions and findings for the “Clean Energy Future” in 2040:

  • 70% renewables
  • 200 GW of rooftop solar
  • 25% energy efficiency savings
  • 84% lower carbon dioxide emissions (even greater than those envisioned by EPA’s Clean Power Plan)

Fig 1 Synapse

Synapse used the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Renewable Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model to compare the costs of the United States transitioning to a Clean Energy Future with business‐as‐usual costs.  All electric-generating resources continue to operate throughout their useful lifetimes in the Clean Energy Future. 

Over the coming months, Synapse will build upon its analysis to determine the state-by-state consumer bill impacts of the proposed and final Clean Power Plan, which is expected to be released in late summer.  So stay tuned!