How far is the US from a 100% renewable energy future?

Models show the feasibility of a green energy future

Using models to estimate future energy demand and weather forecasts, Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy program at Stanford, calculated how the United States could meet 100% renewable energy by 2050. The analysis determined what those energy demands would be in 2050 if they were exclusively powered by electricity, based on industry-specific breakdowns of current consumption and energy sources. Jacobsen and his team determined how renewable energy could meet future electricity demand by combining these calculations with additional layers of data, such as exposure to wind and sun, number of shaded roofs and access. to hydroelectric dams.

Wind and solar energy are broad terms that encompass many different types of products and processes for harnessing the power of wind and sun. Geography plays an important role in the strength and reliability of these resources.

There is onshore wind, such as the impressive array of turbines you might see stretching across the plains, as well as offshore wind harnessed by turbines in bodies of water and characterized by high speeds, no obstructions and predictable patterns.

Solar energy can be collected by residential rooftop panels, solar power stations which use larger photovoltaic solar panels, and concentrating solar power stations which use mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy to power motors that create electricity.

In addition, moving water can be converted into hydroelectric energy. This represents a smaller percentage of the current and potential future energy mix of most states.

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