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Slowly but Surely – Changing Our Energy Mix

By Cassidi Beck

8th May 2030

The United States has made large commitments over the last few years after re-joining the Paris Climate Accords in 2021. Perhaps one of the most significant one of these was the Biden administration’s goal to decarbonise the power sector by 2035. While we still have a lot of work to do, the ongoing policy developments of the Harris administration must be applauded. With the support of private firms and other government initiatives, the decarbonisation of the power sector may just be possible.

Nuclear Takes the Wheel

The biggest surprise to the change in the US’s energy mix is probably the swift increase in nuclear energy. In 2026, the White House famously extended the lives of many nuclear plants across the country and declared to invest more money into building new nuclear infrastructure – completely reinvigorating the nuclear industry. This was followed by increasing private investment and interest in nuclear RDI and deployment.  With private company initiatives like Bill Gates’s TerraPower and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company jumping on the nuclear train trend, nuclear energy developments have become the talk of the town. Last year, Gate’s saw his SMR technology – Natrium – go live in Wyoming. The success and many advantages associated with the smaller nuclear technology has seen the swift uptake of partnerships across the nation. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that Nuclear could account for up to 30% of a decarbonised energy sector by 2035.

TerraPower Nuclear Facility

John Gilleland of the International Energy Agency states the uptake of nuclear is also largely due to the increasing difficulty of acquiring the natural resources needed for other types of clean, renewable energy. “With the monopolisation of many resources such as cobalt, copper and lithium by China and OCES (Organisation of Clean Energy Suppliers) , the US has really needed to rethink its future energy mix and strategy for decarbonization.” Cobalt, lithium, and copper are the fundamental resources used in so many of the clean technologies that produce renewable energy. “The acquiring of these resources for solar and wind energy production has certainty become progressively more complicated.” Says Ramon Alvarez, Earth’s Liberation Agency senior energy director. “While we’ve undoubtedly seen an uptake in renewable energy from sources such as wind, solar and hydro, a reduction in coal and oil in the energy mix, nuclear is playing a much larger role than we initially expected.”

Wind farm in California.

The Role of Private Industry

Andrew Kessler, President, and CEO of New York’s Green Bank states we must commend private firm initiatives as they have played a crucial role in decarbonising the energy sector. “Start-ups, investment, venture capital and private equity firms have really risen to the challenge of decarbonisation” Kessler claims. “We estimate that by the end of 2030, private investment into clean technology and renewable energy efforts alone will equal about 116 billion dollars. Private Investment into RDI initiatives has been remarkable. It significantly affects the rate of commercialization for efficiency-improving and emissions reducing technologies and has unquestionably had a visible impact in the decarbonisation of the energy sector.”

Alvarez states the US is undeniably making strides in the decarbonization of its energy sector. More and more households are using solar panels and connecting to renewable sources of energy. The US has also built wind and solar farms all over the country and plans to invest increased money into more renewable infrastructure, especially in areas where the uptake of renewable energy has been slower. “We cannot slow down. The country is making great strides in its efforts to decarbonize not only the energy sector but the entire economy. The 2035 goal of a net-zero energy sector may just be possible”.

Cassidi Beck

Senior Director, ELA

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