50 Percent Clean Energy By 2050 Is Not Enough To Dent Emissions, EIA Says

Even if all 50 states achieve 50 percent carbon-free energy generation by 2050, emissions of the greenhouse gas will drop only slightly over business as usual, according to a new projection by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In a recent supplement to its Annual Energy Outlook, EIA analysts calculated the effect on emissions of such a widespread policy and compared it to a reference case in which they assume all current laws remain the same through 2050.
“EIAs 50% Carbon-Free Generation side case projects little effect on CO2 emissions,” they concluded, producing this chart to bring the point home:
The improvement is slight in part because some states are already on their way to 50 percent under current law, and also because a significant portion of U.S. energy is already clean:
“At the national level, the United States already generated 40% of its electricity using carbon-free technologies in 2019, including sources such as nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, and several others,” according to the EIA’s Richard Bowers.
But the finding suggests states will need more ambitious goals than 50 percent by 2050 if the country is to significantly reduce emissions.
Right now Alaska has set a goal of 50 percent renewables by 2050. Most states have less ambitious standards. A few have more. Vermont set a goal of 55 percent renewables by 2017, Maryland and New Jersey 50 percent by 2030 and Oregon by 2040.
Some states have gone much further, some since the 2016 elections brought green governors to power. New York has a standard of 100 percent clean energy by 2040; California, Washington and Hawaii by 2045; Colorado, Maine, Nevada and New Mexico by 2050.
You can find the current standard for your state at this list maintained by the National Conference of State Legistlatures.

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