US “could derive all energy from renewable sources by 2050”

A team of researchers at Stanford University has outlined how each of the US’ 50 states could be run on renewable energy by 2050.

The team, which is led by Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has analysed each state’s energy use in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors.

The amount of fuel needed to supply this energy was calculated and researchers worked out how it could be substituted from renewable sources.

The plan assumes that all aspects of life would use green energy, such as electric vehicles on the roads and electrified heating and cooling systems in homes and businesses.

The research showed that Washington state could be the first to make the switch to renewables, as  70% of its electricity already comes from hydro schemes.

Iowa and South Dakota could also be early adopters, as almost 30% of their electricity comes from wind power.

Jacobson told "The main barriers are social, political and getting industries to change. One way to overcome these barriers is to inform people about what is possible."

The research also shows that a 39% reduction in total end-use power demand is possible by 2050.

The next stage in the process is finding out how to power a new electric grid that would provide electricity to the masses.

If America adopts the plan, it could prevent 63,000 deaths caused air pollution every year.

Visit here for a list of the plans for all 50 states on an interactive map.

Read the full report here.

Image: Windmills and American buffalo in Wyoming (Wikimedia Commons)

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