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U.S. needs more R.E. to meet next decade’s energy challenges – Frost & Sullivan

The United States' increasing need for energy will drive growth in the renewable energy sector as well as energy-efficient technologies and improvements to the national grid.

A new analysis from Frost & Sullivan sees U.S. energy consumption increasing by 7.3 percent during a 10-year period over 2010 levels. To meet this need, the market will witness strong growth in renewable technologies with solar and wind power representing more than 40 percent of electricity generation capacity by 2020, the analyst thinks.

The U.S. population is projected to reach 324 million by 2020. This increase in population will result in increased energy consumption over the 2010-2020 forecast period, Frost & Sullivan states.

In order to handle the new generation capacity needed, local transmission infrastructure capability is currently being upgraded to withstand increasing loads. These upgrades are necessary to ensure that power from large renewable energy projects are efficiently deployed.

Wind energy and large utility-scale solar projects are currently suffering from transmission line shortages, preventing the power they produce from reaching the grid. This could prevent some states from meeting renewable energy mandates.

Renewable energy growth is also dependent on government financial incentives to help defray high capital costs.

An example would be section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This had been a major driver for the growth of solar installations during 2010 and 2011. With the failure of Congress to extend Section 1603, the market has taken a noticeable hit, the research firm finds.

Aside from the acceleration of renewable energy deployment, the use of energy efficiency technologies to improve the balance between supply and demand is essential for the U.S. to meet its energy challenges, according to the report. – EcoSeed Staff

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