Using 100% Renewable Sources To Power America's Energy Demands: Interactive Map Shows How To Get There By 2050
America has for some time now realized the potential of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal power. Harnessing these renewable energy sources will greatly reduce the harmful impacts of non-renewable energy sources, such as greenhouse gases. Currently, renewable energy contributes to less than 10 percent of America's energy consumption. Scientists from Stanford University, however, recently unveiled plans to transform the energy infrastructure of America from non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels, to 100 percent renewable resources by 2050.
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Professor Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, and his colleagues, presented their ideas for transitioning to renewable energy in all 50 states at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago on Saturday.
These scientists have developed an interactive roadmap tailored to maximize the resource potential of each state. Hovering a cursor over any state shows how renewable energy sources can be used to meet the energy demands of that particular state. For example, hovering over California reveals that it can meet virtually all of its power demands - transportation, electricity, heating, etc. - in 2050 by switching to a clean technology portfolio that is 55 percent solar, 35 percent wind (on- and offshore), five percent geothermal and four percent hydroelectric.
"The new roadmap is designed to provide each state a first step toward a renewable future," Jacobson said in a press release. "It provides all of the basic information, such as how many wind turbines and solar panels would be needed to power each state, how much land area would be required, what would be the cost and cost savings, how many jobs would be created, how much pollution-related mortality and global-warming emissions would be avoided."
The 50-state roadmap was launched on the website of The Solutions Project, a national outreach effort led by Jacobson, actor Mark Ruffalo - he played the Hulk in The Avengers - film director Josh Fox, and others, to raise public awareness about switching to clean energy produced entirely by wind, water, and sunlight. In fact, Leilani Munter, a professional race car driver and Solutions Project member, publicized the plan on Saturday during an event at the Daytona National Speedway in Daytona, Fla.
"Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the most significant problems facing the world today. Unfortunately, scientific results are often glossed over," Jacobson said in the press release. "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."
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