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Clean Power 31 states can be energy self-reliant

Published on July 14th, 2011 | by John Farrell

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31 States Can be Self-Sufficient with Local Renewable Energy

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July 14th, 2011 by  

The following map was the headline graphic to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s 2009 report, Energy Self-Reliant States, unveiling the enormous potential for each state to meet its own electricity needs internally.  I re-created the map for web viewing, so it’s now even easier to share how each state can meet its electricity consumption with in-state renewable energy resources.

The renewable resources considered include on- and off-shore wind, rooftop solar PV, hydro, combined heat and power, and high-temperature geothermal.  Read the Energy Self-Reliant States report for more details.

Click the image for a larger version of the map or here for an interactive one.

State Energy Self-Reliance Potential

31 states can be energy self-reliant

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project.

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About the Author

directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at jfarrell@ilsr.org.



  • Bob_Wallace

    What might drive this home is a couple more maps.  One of how many states could be self-sufficient with the coal they produce.  A similar one for natural gas.

    We import and export over state lines constantly.  Those few red, orange and yellow states – they’ve got neighbors with tons of renewable power available.

    And someone forgot to add tidal/stream.  There’s an enormous river of energy flowing just off Florida’s beaches.  Massachusetts is adding tidal generators to their grid right now. 

  • Tim Johnson

    How would this look based on population?  would help highlight the need for distributed energy generation. 

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’m pretty sure population is factored in as it’s based on state ‘needs’.

  • Anonymous

    Now! to get away from the astoundingly impractical and unsustainable “Great American Corporate and Capitalist Propaganda Whore’s” ridiculous “American Dream” formulas, and live happy sustainable healthy lives in good, sane, uninfluenced, un-coerced, logical, and practical, and very secure fashion!

  • Jonshriegl

    Until the government (mainly republicans) stop subsidizing dirty energy none of this will happen. The free market and investors would have done this long ago but taxpayers are forced to prop up coal and petrol based energy.

    • Ethicalattitudes

      Instead we will subsidize the clean energy companies the Obama (Democrats) administration has subsidized. May as well just pile the cash in big piles and light it on fire. No wait, a percentage of that was supposed to go back to the Obama reelection campaign wasn’t it.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Do you not understand that we spend far, far, far more taxpayer money supporting fossil fuels and cleaning up the mess they leave?

        Do you think it’s good business to pour taxpayer money into the pockets of extremely profitable oil companies?

      • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

        Wow, you have apparently got your facts completely mixed up.

      • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

        The people whom the Bush administration pushed to approve the Solyndra loan were exactly the same people who approved the loan once the application was approved.

        Unlike what the Bush administration did, the Obama administration put no pressure on the review committee to approve the loan.

        The loan was not given to ” a Obama supporter”. The loan was given to a company whose CEO was a Republican.

        The investors in Solyndra include the quite conservative Walton (WalMart) family.

        If you go back and read the articles written about Solyndra you’ll see that the conservative financial press spoke highly of Solyndra’s technology at the time.

        This was a project supported by both conservative and liberal sides. It was widely seen as a good idea when the price of solar panels was very high. The price of solar fell extremely quickly, which no one had predicted.

  • George Meade

    We now have a start up company . I just got on board with. 10,000 sq. ft. They have been in this for 5 years . I’m centering on solar in Indiana. I have built my own and showed the product to them.In Indiana there is almost no incentives but the out come of solar is great. I know we can win if we don’t give up. Its all up and up on the law. They own the building. We have to get the web page up.Many ways to go but I know it will catch on.

  • Anumakonda Jagadeesh

    Excellent information on scope for Renewable Energy in different states.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
    Wind Energy Expert
    E-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com

  • John

    Arizona doesn’t have enough sun for it’s needs but neighboring New Mexico has enough renewable potential for 7500% of its needs? How did they come up with these numbers?

    • Carlolyn

      Since they used % of electricity as the measure I would guess the 98% says more about how much energy AZ is wasting on cooling than it does about available sunshine. New Mexico is much less developed with a much smaller population. Arizona may have too many people for it’s resources – both water and energy.

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