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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Renewables and Efficiency Are Eating Away at America’s Fossil Fuel Demand

Renewables and Efficiency Are Eating Away at America’s Fossil Fuel Demand

America's energy transition is no longer theoretical.

Wind and solar are increasingly the lowest-cost resources getting connected to the grid, changing the investment calculus for utilities and dominating new capacity builds. Electricity demand nationwide continues to fall, even as millions more square feet of buildings are constructed. And in states across the country, distributed solar is decimating load growth. 

These trends are adding up. In fact, renewables and efficiency together will cut the equivalent of 2 billion cubic feet of fossil fuel demand per day by 2020.

The chart below comes from Prajit Ghosh, the head of Americas power and renewables research at Wood Mackenzie. In the next five years, gross fossil fuel demand is expected to rise by 4 billion to 5 billion cubic feet per day. However, net demand -- gross demand minus efficiency and non-dispatchable wind and solar -- turns the trend around.

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