Renewable electricity surging

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According to the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, renewable sources of energy could provide 80 percent of U.S. electricity by mid-century. The strategy: use region-specific renewable resources.

Solar electricity farms make sense in Arizona but not necessarily in Minnesota’s north woods. Hydropower is a better prospect for towns located along rivers than in Kansas corn country where wind energy is plentiful; New England can burn wood pellets made from its forests.

TREND FORECAST: By meeting local needs with local resources and channeling excess power into regional electric grids, the lab contends, the 80 percent target is a practical goal – especially with today’s plunging costs of wind and solar power.

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