Switching a large fraction of US energy to renewable sources by 2025 could involve no increase in cost, says an independent US think thank, as long as current price trends hold firm.

Renewable sources currently provide about 6% of the energy used in the US. The new RAND report concludes this could be boosted to a total of 18% by 2025, equivalent to 25% of electricity and motoring fuel, at no extra cost. The provisos are that the price of renewable energy continues its downward trend and that predictions of future oil prices are roughly accurate.

The report was commissioned by the Energy Future Coalition in Washington DC, US. In July 2006, this bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives introduced a congressional resolution calling for a new national renewable energy goal: 25% of the nation's energy supply from renewable sources by 2025.

To assess the financial implications of this target, RAND ran a computer model involving 1500 different scenarios in which fossil fuel and renewable energy prices varied. Their model took into account the fact that as renewable energy prices drop and become better able to compete with fossil fuel prices, the latter are likely to be pushed down.

For the rest of the story:

I suspect it is likely the same for all first-world countries.

DA Morgan