The U.S. can generate 90% clean electricity by 2035 with no added cost or new fossil fuel plants, and could create more than half-a-million jobs per year, a new report from UC Berkeley found.
The 2035 timeframe to remove most carbon from the electric grid is 15 years faster than the majority of federal and state policies currently target. The bulk of the clean electricity in 2035 would come from wind and solar, with coal generation ceasing entirely and existing gas generation reduced by 70%.
A rapid buildout of additional renewable energy could contribute to the country’s economic recovery effort, pumping $1.7 trillion of investment into the economy and increasing energy sector jobs by up to 530,000 a year.
The report was accompanied by a policy paper from Energy Innovation that outlines a range of policies available to achieve the outcomes, including a technology-neutral national Clean Energy Standard and policies to ensure just transition for fossil fuel-dependent communities.