By Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission director Jon Wellinghoff recently stated that the U.S. may not need any new coal or nuclear power plants. Due to our tremendous renewable energy potential, the rising challenge of global warming, and the high cost of new conventional plants, I think he’s right.

The U.S. can meet future electricity demand by deploying efficiency and renewable energy.

The potential for renewable energy is great. The U.S. has more wind and solar potential than all its oil, gas and coal reserves. Our current total electrical generating capacity of 1,000 GW is dwarfed by the combination of onshore and offshore wind potential of ~3,000 GW cited by Interior Secretary Salazar. And solar power's potential is many times greater than that if we deploy panels on less than 1 percent of our land. Add to that the potential of geothermal, hydropower, and biomass -- and fossil fuels begin to look like a dinosaur of the 20th century that will soon be replaced.