Groups: EIA Renewable Energy Data Doesn’t Reflect “Real World”

Nearly 100 renewable energy and environmental groups and businesses have asked the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to reevaluate renewable energy forecasts, alleging the agency’s projections don’t reflect “the current status and recent, real-world growth rates of renewables.”

In a Sept. 10 letter to EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski, the coalition says the agency’s estimates in past issues of the “Annual Energy Outlook” for future electrical generation in the near to medium term have been “unreasonably low and have not been borne out by actual experience.” In light of dropping costs for solar and wind, future contributions from those sources should be much higher, even if the policy environment remains unchanged, it claims.

The data is used heavily by policymakers when making decisions and the groups say the underestimation can have “multiple adverse impacts” on the renewable sector.

“Accordingly, we request that EIA re-evaluate the underlying assumptions and methodology being used in developing its renewable energy forecasts and provide projections that more closely reflect the current status and recent, real-world, growth rates of renewables. This may mean considering and seeking to quantify factors, in addition to price, that are driving the growth of renewables, such as grid reliability, environmental externalities, and consumer preferences,” the letter says.

Sources: POWER, Sustainable Industries