50 States of Renewable Energy Plan

Last week, Stanford University scientist Mark Jacobson released a report on how each of the 50 states could completely remove fossil fuels from their energy diet.

Called the “Solutions Project,” the map aims to inform the public about what it would take for each state to purge itself of fossil fuels.

Solutions Project
Solutions Project

When you play with the interactive map, you will see that each state has a specific plan broken down into 10 categories of alternative energy: residential roof solar panels, government/community roof solar panels, solar panel energy plant, wave device, concentrated solar power plant, geothermal energy, onshore wind farms, hydroelectric power, offshore wind farms, and tidal turbines.

Since I live in Colorado for the time being, I will break down Colorado’s example:

  • 4% residential solar
  • 4% government solar
  • 13% solar panel energy
  • 0% wave device (duh)
  • 15% concentrated solar power plant (the tall tower that uses reflected light from mirrors)
  • 5% geothermal energy
  • 55% wind farms (the plains in the West are EXTRA windy and perfect for wind farms)
  • 4% hydroelectric power
  • 0% offshore wind (no oceans here!)
  • 0% tidal power (see above)
Example: possible alternative energy breakdown for Colorado
Example: possible alternative energy breakdown for Colorado

Jacobson believes that this is the way to go for the future of energy. And to me, this makes sense. Splitting up energy into different sources is better than putting all of our eggs in one basket (ahem, fossil fuels).

The scientist had one last remark:

“Unfortunately, scientific results are often glossed over. The Solutions Project was born with the vision of combining science with business, policy and public outreach through social media and cultural leaders – often artists and entertainers who can get the information out – to study and simultaneously address these global challenges.”

We will see how this turns out, but we are trying more and more alternative energy strategies as building them gets cheaper and cheaper.

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