Mark Z. Jacobson and colleagues show that it's technically possible for each state to replace fossil fuel energy with entirely clean, renewable energy.
By Bjorn Carey
Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson and other researchers have calculated how to meet each state's new power demands using only the renewable energies of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and tiny amounts of tidal and wave available to each state. (Vaclav Volrab / Shutterstock)
One potential way to combat ongoing climate change, eliminate air pollution mortality, create jobs and stabilize energy prices involves converting the world's entire energy infrastructure to run on clean, renewable energy.
This is a daunting challenge. But now, in a new study, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, and colleagues, including U.C. Berkeley researcher Mark Delucchi, are the first to outline how each of the 50 states can achieve such a transition by 2050. The 50 individual state plans call for aggressive changes to both infrastructure and the ways we currently consume energy, but indicate that the conversion is technically and economically possible through the wide-scale implementation of existing technologies.
"The main barriers are social, political and getting industries to change. One way to overcome the barriers is to inform people about what is possible," Jacobson said. "By showing that it's technologically and economically possible, this study could reduce the barriers to a large scale transformation."