National Geographic : 2015 Nov
Carbon-Free America 73 18.9% Onshore wind 10.6% Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) 32% Utility PV 30% Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants 6.5% Hydroelectric 2% Geothermal 50% Onshore wind 5.5% Rooftop PV 15.8% Utility PV 0.2% Hydroelectric 0.1% Wave 0.5% Geothermal 8.5% Onshore wind 5.3% Rooftop PV 79.7% Utility PV 5% CSP plants 1.5% Hydro- electric CSP plants 14% Offshore wind 13.9% 672,054 megawatts (MW) Total energy needed in 2050 Offshore area: 1% LESS THAN 4% OF THE NECESSARY ONSHORE WIND TURBINES ARE CURRENTLY INSTALLED. 65,188 ONSHORE WIND TURBINES NEEDED SAVINGS FROM DEATH AND ILLNESS PREVENTED ANNUAL ENERGY, HEALTH, AND CLIMATE COSTS SAVINGS, PER PERSON DEATHS FROM AIR POLLUTION AVOIDED, PER YEAR $54.2 billion 4,217 $11,923 Fossil fuel and nuclear Health and climate costs Estimated energy costs in 2050 in cents per kilowatt-hour 100% renewables Business as usual TN MS 0 25 50 75 100% GA AL FL MT WV IL PA WY 0 25 50 75 100% Projections for 2050 Infrastructure challenge 16.4 8.7 Equipment footprint: 0.6% Equipment footprint: 1% Total area: 6% Equipment footprint: 0.3% Total area: 0.9% Total area of Arizona: 113,635 square miles 70,418 MW Total area of Kentucky: 39,728 square miles Total area: 2.2% Total area of Texas: 261,797 square miles 146,831 MW TEXAS Big Politics, Big Oil OPPORTUNITIES: With its coal plants and oil refineries, Texas emits more carbon dioxide than most countries—nearly twice as much as California. Ditching fossil fuels here could cut global emissions almost 2 percent. The state gets 10 percent of its power from wind turbines, and it’s the national leader in wind capacity. OBSTACLES: Lone Star politicians have led the nation in battling climate change regulations. Fossil fuels are central to the state’s economy. Transitioning to renewables may lead to net job losses, unlike in most states. Utility- scale solar projects already have proved controversial because of the impact on desert landscapes.