Stanford scientist shows how each US state could run on 100% renewables by 2050
- 28 February 2014
NEW YORK: Pioneering US climate scientist Mark Jacobsen has developed an interactive resource roadmap to demonstrate how each US state could run on renewables by 2050.
The Stanford professor has created a specialized renewable energy plan for all 50 US states, based on his 2011 analysis of how New York State could meet its clean energy potential.
The resource roadmap looks at how each state could generate its electricity, transportation, heating and cooling needs through renewable power, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy. Nuclear, ethanol and other bioefuels have been excluded.
Jacobsen has tailored his prescription for each state to take into account the natural resources each has by virtue of its geographical location.
For instance sunny California could get 55% of its energy from solar but for New Jersey the comparable figure is only 31.5%. The east coast state does, however, have the potential to generate 65.5% of its necessary energy through onshore and offshore wind farms.
The resource map also examines the economic benefits associated with the switch to 100% clean energy. By Jacobsen’s calculations across the US, 5.1 million 40-year construction jobs and 2.6 million 40-year operation jobs would need to be introduced for the energy facilities alone.
In addition to job creation, the professor also examines the health benefits such a switch would bring.
The study’s findings have been displayed online in a unique user-friendly interactive map. Simply by clicking into each state, the general public will be able to see each the profile of renewable energy that state should employ, as well as the employment and health benefits associated with the renewable transition.
Jacobsen emphasizes that his 2050 target is achievable, provided the necessary policy framework is put into operation. He comments: “The greatest barriers to a conversion are neither technical nor economic. They are social and political. Thus, effective polices are needed to ensure a rapid transition”
Part of Mark Jacobsen's plan for renewable energy in California. The infographic can be viewed in full here
By Alana Ryan