National Geographic : 2015 Nov
Carbon-Free America 71 25% Onshore wind 10% Offshore wind 26.5% Utility PV 15% Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants 4.5% Hydroelectric 0.5% Wave 0.5% Tidal 5% Geothermal 60% Offshore wind 0.7% Onshore wind 31.3% Utility PV 5% CSP plants 0.1% Hydroelectric 0.4% Wave 55% Onshore wind 35% Utility PV 5% CSP plants 3% Hydroelectric 13% Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) 2.5% Rooftop PV 2% Rooftop PV 417,719 megawatts (MW) Total energy needed in 2050 Offshore area: 11.3% Offshore area: 0.7% MA MD DE RI NJ 0 25 50 75 100% 0 25 50 75 100% SD OK KS IA MN Infrastructure challenge Fossil fuel and nuclear Health and climate costs Estimated energy costs in 2050 in cents per kilowatt-hour 100% renewables Business as usual Projections for 2050 SAVINGS FROM DEATH AND ILLNESS PREVENTED DEATHS FROM AIR POLLUTION AVOIDED, PER YEAR ANNUAL ENERGY, HEALTH, AND CLIMATE COSTS SAVINGS, PER PERSON 9.4 million+ RESIDENTIALSOLARPVSYSTEMSNEEDED LESS THAN 3% OF THE NECESSARY PV SYSTEMS ARE CURRENTLY INSTALLED. $127.9 billion 12,528 $7,395 288,769 MW Total area of North Dakota: 68,976 square miles Equipment footprint: 0.1% Total area: 0.8% Equipment footprint: 1.2% Total area of Louisiana: 43,562 square miles Total area: 12.7% 34,097 MW Total area:* 4.1% Equipment footprint: 0.6% 16.4 9.7 Total area of California: 155,940 square miles OBSTACLES: North Dakota’s small population means its overall energy use is low, but only Wyoming, Alaska, and Louisiana consume more energy per person. Its renewable energy goal is just 10 percent. OPPORTUNITIES: The Bakken shale oil boom isn’t the only energy rush here. Wind power already generates 17.5 percent of the state’s electricity, and landowners are paid to allow turbines on their property. Every county has the natural breezes to support wind projects. NORTH DAKOTA Windy Plains LOUISIANA Offshore Gold Mine OBSTACLES: Offshore wind projects are controversial and have large up-front costs. The nation’s first (in Rhode Island) won’t begin operating until next year. Louisiana politics has strong ties to the oil industry. OPPORTUNITIES: Gulf Coast breezes could transform Louisiana into an offshore wind haven, potentially reducing electric bills. Tens of thousands of turbines might even help protect the state from hurricanes by slowing wind speeds. Northeast states could rely heavily on offshore wind power. Onshore wind power would be most dominant across the Midwest.