Is a 100 Percent Renewable Future Possible in the U.S.?

This chart shows the United States’ mind-blowing clean energy potential

Grist, March 30, 2016. Image credit: Greyerbaby

The United States uses about 3.7 million gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. That’s an unfathomably huge number. But the next time someone tries to make the argument that 100 percent renewable energy is out of reach for the U.S., show them this image:

clean tech potential 2016-03-30

All of U.S. electricity usage is down there at the bottom right. Everything else is the States’ renewable potential.

Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report that said the United States’ upper ceiling on rooftop solar generation potential was around 39 percent of all U.S. electricity sales. That’s the tiny yellow circle in the middle. The potential of utility-scale solar? 350 times that li’l guy.

[bctt tweet=”The U.S. uses about 3.7 million GWh of electricity each year. We need more #renewable #energy.”]

In a new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center — where this image appears — researchers lay out the achievability of a U.S. transition to 100 percent renewable energy. “There’s no question of whether or not there’s enough renewable energy,” said Rob Sargent, a program director at Environment America, on a press call. It’s more a function of how to achieve such a transition.

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