Space & Innovation

U.S. Could Have 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050

Each state could receive 80 percent of its energy via renewables by 2030, with a full transition by 2050.

The last eight US presidents have promised the country independence from foreign oil.

But here it is, 2015, and about 27 percent of U.S. petroleum comes from foreign countries. On top of that, our country burns through an average of 19.05 million barrels of petroleum per day.

What's to be done?

Crazy Solar Power Plants

A team of researchers led by Stanford University's professor Mark Z. Jacobson has a plan that he says could get the United States 100 percent on renewable energy by 2050.

They completed a thorough analysis of energy use state-by-state, categorizing it into areas such as residential, commercial, industrial and transportation. Next, they calculated fuel demands and projected them out over the next 35 years.

Next, they looked at what kind of renewable energy makes the most sense for each state. For states that get more sunlight, solar power might be the best option; for those near the coasts, off-shore wind farms could be best; for those with major rivers, hydroelectric could work best.

An interactive map provides details for each state here.

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Taking into account that natural progression of energy efficiency, the researchers believe that each state could receive 80 percent of its energy via renewables by 2030, with a full transition by 2050.

Not only would switch reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, it could greatly improve the health and well being of thousands of people. Approximately 63,000 people in the United States die from air pollution-related cases every year.

The researchers published their study in the journal Energy and Environmental Sciences.

via Gizmag