64% of US States Could Use In-State Renewables to Cover Energy Demand

Posted on November 9, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , |

Last week, Treehugger picked up an interesting study from the Insitute for Local Self Reliancy. The study found that 64% of US states could be energy self sufficient with homegrown renewable fuels and that an additional 14% could get 75% of their energy from instate renewables.

The study examines local power generation options (see graphics below) and out the cost to the consumer from local power generation. The conclusion is:

  “The cost of constructing new transmission lines to carry that power and the electricity losses during transmission could result in an electricity cost to the customer that is about the same, or higher, than local generation with minimal transmission upgrades.”

This is definitely an exciting finding for proponents of decentralized energy generation (like the Institute for Local Self Reliancy), but Treehugger points out that although we no a lot of about the pros and cons of centralized generation but a lot less about the actual costs and feasibility of decentralized power production. But with “buy local” and “eat local” movements gaining strength for their obvious benefits to the local community in terms of job creation and environmental benefits to fossil fuel reductions,  perhaps a “local power” movement will really take off.

Here are some graphs about local potential generation for wind and solar from the ILSR study.

us-energy-onshor-wind-power-mapsolarmap

For more info on decentralized power generation, take a look at this article from AlterNet and the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE).

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[…] 64% of US States Could Use In-State Renewables to Cover Energy Demand […]

Management policies, and the cost of grid connecting local generation facilities must be given more attention; emergency energy sharing, local and state and federal government oversight, equipment protection and shutdown, and security and maintenance issues, are a few of the subject areas.


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