A team of Stanford University researchers have developed a state-by-state plan for the U.S. to switch to 80 percent renewable energy sources by 2030 and nearly 100 percent by 2050.
Lead researcher Marc Jacobson unveiled the plan, called The Solutions Project, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago Feb. 16.
“Drastic problems require drastic and immediate solutions,” Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, said on the university’s website for the Precourt Institute for Energy. “Our new roadmap is designed to provide each state a first step toward a renewable future.”
Jacobson said the plan is meant to combat the negative effects of coal, oil and natural gas on human health and the climate. The goal, he says, is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and prevent deaths from air pollution.
The Solutions Project includes an interactive map of the 50 states, each with its own clean energy portfolio. For example, according to the plan, New York should switch to 30 percent offshore wind, 25 percent onshore wind, 15 percent solar PV plants, 10 percent concentrated solar power plants and smaller percentages of residential and commercial rooftop solar panels, wave devices and underwater turbines, geothermal and hydroelectric.
The state plans also include researchers’ estimates of 40-year jobs that will be created, mortality and illness costs that will be avoided and future energy costs of fossil fuels versus renewables. The estimated savings for each New Yorker (in terms of energy, health and climate costs by 2050) is $4,100.
Jacobson and his team have developed more-detailed plans for New York, Washington and California, which can be accessed online through the science publisher Elsevier.
Actor Mark Ruffalo, co-star of "The Avengers," and film director Josh Fox are partnering with Jacobson to raise public awareness about the clean energy initiative.