Constructing statutory energy goal compliant wind and solar PV infrastructure pathways

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 2 of this Preprint.

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Austin Thomas, Pavan Racherla


Concerns over climate change have led governments around the world to establish a range of renewable, low-carbon energy goals. Plans for meeting these targets vary widely in their ambition, specificity, and time horizons. Wind and solar electricity generation will feature prominently in future energy systems that meet these renewable, low-carbon energy goals. Implementing large-scale wind and solar PV infrastructure configurations in a timely fashion will require cooperation between and among electric grid stakeholders and communities that host the infrastructure.

This paper presents methods for constructing a diverse range of wind and solar PV energy infrastructure pathways that meet statutory energy goals, measuring their land use impacts, and assessing their performance relative to electricity demand. A case study on the state of Vermonts statutory energy goals from its 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan is presented as an example. While total wind and solar PV infrastructure requirements would increase several-fold, Vermonts statutory energy goals can be met while occupying less than 1% of the states land area. Vermont electricity demand was most effectively met by balanced configurations of wind and solar PV similar to the states present wind and solar PV resources, while 100% wind or 100% solar PV configurations were less effective.



Environmental Studies, Geography, Meteorology, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Spatial Science


land use, decarbonization, electric grid, solar energy, statutory energy goals, wind energy


Published: 2019-10-30 23:02

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International