Renewable Energy in the South

After completing “Energy Efficiency in the South,” the Climate & Energy Policy Lab continued its partnership with Duke University to explore the South’s potential of renewable energies. The result was a report on Renewable Energy in the South. Our research focused on a portfolio of renewable resources (utility-scale and customer-owned), and evaluated the barriers, drivers, and policies that could affect the South reaching this potential. The types of renewable energy include: wind power, bio power, municipal waste, hydropower, solar power and thermal energy, heat pump water heaters, and combined heat and power.

We explored the economic potentials of both the utility-scale and customer-owned renewables by applying NEMS modeling across the multi-state region for a broad set of renewable resources. Besides the economic tests, the renewable potentials were examined in two possible policy scenarios: Renewable Energy Standard (RES) and Carbon Constrained Future (CCF).  The major findings show that the region could economically supply a large portion of its future electricity needs from utility-scale renewables (511 billion kWh in 2030 in the Expanded Renewables + CCF scenario) under realistic technology expansion and policy scenarios. The growth of customer-owned renewable generation could nearly match that of utility-scale renewable generation (464 billion kWh in 2030 in the Expanded Renewables + CCF scenario) by 2030.


  • The Energy, Kresge, and Turner Foundations