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Abstract

This review discusses the outlook for electric power generation in the U.S. covering both traditional fossil fuel and renewable energy sources. Environmental policy, technology and economics combine with the advantages and disadvantages of each electric power source to drive the direction of the industry. Coal, while sensitive to carbon emissions regulations, will likely continue to play a large role; natural gas use will continue to be dependent on supply and price; nuclear power has the potential to grow, but requires new plant construction for the first time in 30 years; and despite projected growth in renewable energy sources (particularly for wind), changes in policy would be required to have renewable energy become a significant contributor to the electric power generation mix.

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