Green energy sources could provide 80 percent of the power needed for the United States by 2050, a study published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found.
As much as 50 percent of that energy could come from wind and solar sources, the study found, with no new technology needed. It would take cooperation and contributions from all 50 states to make that happen, Yahoo News reported.
The study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and included collaboration from a number of entities including universities, said that each state would have to play to its strengths. Sunshine-rich states would solar power and regions with high winds could utilize wind energy, the report said. Though some areas of the nation now lag behind in green energy creation, the report said that by 2050 these gaps would have been closed.
“All regions of the United States could contribute substantial renewable electricity supply in 2050, consistent with their local renewable resource base,” the report stated.
There are still hurdles to making that happen, IEEE Spectrum reported. In order for wind energy to reach the necessary 439 gigawatts by 2050, an additional 2,500 wind turbines would need to be built each year, the report said. There must also be updates to the nation’s electrical grid, giving it the power to better balance supply and demand from these renewable sources.
The study is seen as the most comprehensive analysis of renewable electricity conducted in the United States, with the power to drive further research and discussion over green energy. Energy experts who claim that coal and natural gas will always be necessary to provide baseload power now have a much weaker case, IEEC Spectrum noted.