• Coal-fired plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) could provide as much as 1200 TWh of electricity per year by 2035 through repowering and retrofits of existing plants and as much as 1800 TWh per year by 2035 through new plant construction. In combination, the entire existing coal power fleet could be replaced by CCS coal power by 2035.

  • Nuclear plants could provide an additional 160 TWh of electricity per year by 2020, and up to 850 TWh by 2035, by modifying current plants to increase their power output and by constructing new plants.

  • Natural gas generation of electricity could be expanded to meet a substantial portion of U.S. electricity demand by 2035. However, it is not clear whether adequate supplies of natural gas will be available at competitive prices to support substantially increased levels of electricity generation, and such expansion could expose the United States to greater import dependence and result in increased emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2 ).

Fourth, expansion and modernization of the nation’s electrical transmission and distribution systems (i.e., the power grid) are urgently needed. Expansion and modernization would enhance reliability and security , accommodate changes in load growth and electricity demand, and enable the deployment of new energy efficiency and supply technologies, especially intermittent wind and solar energy .


Fifth, petroleum will continue to be an indispensable transportation fuel during the time periods considered in this report. Maintaining current rates of domestic petroleum production (about 5.1 million barrels per day in 2007) will be challenging. There are limited options for replacing petroleum or reducing petroleum use before 2020, but there are more substantial longer -term options that could begin to make significant contributions in the 2030–2035 timeframe. Options for obtaining meaningful reductions in petroleum use in the transportation sector include the following:

  • Improving vehicle efficiency. Technologies to improve vehicle efficiency are available for deployment now, and new technologies continue to emerge.

  • Developing technologies for the conversion of biomass and coal-to-liquid fuels. By 2035, cellulosic ethanol and coal-and-biomass-



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement