Publication year: 2011Source: Energy Policy, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 23 March 2011Keith, Crane , Aimee E., Curtright , David S., Ortiz , Constantine, Samaras , Nicholas, BurgerThe electricity sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in the U.S. Many states have passed and Congress has considered Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), mandates that specific percentages of electricity be generated from renewable resources. We perform a technical and economic assessment and estimate the economic costs and net GHG reductions from a national 25 percent RPS by 2025 relative to coal-based electricity. This policy would reduce GHG emissions by about 670 million metric tons per year, 11 percent of 2008 U.S. emissions. The first 100 million metric tons could be abated for less than $36/metric ton.... Research highlights: ► We estimate the economic costs and net GHG reductions from U.S renewable electricity mandates. ► GHG emissions reductions from such policies could be as much as 670 million metric tons per year. ► Depending on technological development, economic costs are $13-$45 billion per year. ► Lower costs depend on favorable technological progress.