How Will the U.S. Reach Biden’s Climate Goals?

The Biden Administration committed to a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030. This goal nearly doubles the original goal set by the Obama Administration in 2015. With this goal, the U.S. seeks to align themselves with Europe on their climate goals and hopefully to help set the pace for countries like India and China.

To achieve this, the U.S. will need the help of the nuclear power generation. This administration has insinuated that it could create new subsidies to help nuclear plants.  This would also help set the country to be decarbonized in its power sector by 2035. Fossil fuels accounts for 60.3% of utility-scale electricity generation; the fossil fuels sector is mostly made up by Natural gas and Coal. Natural gas was 40.3% of utility-scale electricity while coal made up 19.3%. The administration understands that a big step in the right direction towards decarbonizing the power generation. Nuclear power plants have seen an increase in closings in the U.S. as the costs of safety and security have risen. Historically, nuclear plants have accounted for about 20% of America’s annual electricity since 1990. At the end of 2020, there were 94 nuclear reactors in operation across 56 plants in 28 states. While the U.S. has the largest nuclear electricity generation capacity in the world and generates more than any other country, the U.S. will most likely have to depend on nuclear energy more to achieve President Biden’s goal.

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