United States

United States

Huge potential from cap and trade program

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If America went ahead with a carbon dioxide cap and trade program, the potential market for wind power would be huge, reported Walter Short of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the annual trade show of the US wind industry, held in Chicago last month. "You've got wind going nuts here," Short said. He presented a study of the likely market shares of various energy sources with a carbon cap and auction program in place to reduce emissions to 20% of 2005 levels by 2050. It projects about 600 GW, or one-third of the nation's electricity capacity in 2050, coming from wind. Short's primary model assumes use of carbon capture technologies and use of nuclear, but predicts nuclear not making big capacity additions. He expects carbon allowance prices will be "pretty darn high," up to $90 to $105 per ton of carbon, but that they will only raise national average electricity prices by a modest $0.015-$0.02/kWh.

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