Meeting today’s electricity needs calls for addressing two important
and seemingly incompatible challenges: satisfying steadily growing
demand and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.The United States’ electricity demand totaled more than 3,800 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2006 and is expected to grow approximately 1.1 percent each year in the next two decades. By 2030, electricity consumption will be about 26 percent greater than it is today. Meanwhile, electricity production and distribution accounts for 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These emissions are projected to grow more than 20 percent by 2030 amid rising concerns about greenhouse gas emissions.