National Geographic : 2015 Nov
72 national geographic • november 2015 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 ONSHOREWIND TURBINES NEEDED SAVINGS FROM DEATH AND ILLNESS PREVENTED ANNUAL ENERGY, HEALTH, AND CLIMATE COSTS SAVINGS, PER PERSON DEATHS FROM AIR POLLUTION AVOIDED, PER YEAR $54.2billion 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 KENTUCKY King Coal OBSTACLES: Coal is still king in Kentucky, where it is used to supply more than 90 percent of electricity. The state has no formal goal to use more renewable energy. Hydroelectric dams generate only 4 percent of its electricity. OPPORTUNITIES: Moving to 100 percent renewables would clean up one of the nation’s dirtiest energy systems. Kentucky ranks first in carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour of electricity. OBSTACLES: Utilities seek and often get higher fees from homeowners who install rooftop panels. One-quarter of Arizona’s electricity is used for air-conditioning—four times the national average. The state has the nation’s largest nuclear power plant. OPPORTUNITIES: Arizona is now second (behind California) in generating utility-scale solar power and could get more than 70 percent of its electricity from sunlight. Solar battery storage technology is improving. ARIZONA Solar Oasis States that now depend largely on coal would each follow a unique path toward sustainability. Solar power will also be crucial to meeting the Southeast’s energy needs.