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Biomass January New Energy Capacity All Renewable in US

Published on February 24th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


100%, 99%, 80%, 70% — How Much Can/Should The World Be Powered By Renewable Energy?

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February 24th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan

Solar panel, wind turbine & globe via Shutterstock

How much can/should the world be powered by renewable energy? Or how about your country or region? A number of studies have tackled this question, and I recently realized that we hadn’t stuck them all together in one easy-to-find place. So, I created this page specifically for that purpose: 70%, 80%, 99.9%, 100% Renewables — Study Central.

Keep that page bookmarked — it will be updated with new major studies on this topic as they are produced. (I’ll also stick it in our sidebar on the right so that it’s super easy to access for CleanTechnica readers — I know, I love you.)

Image Credit: Solar panel, wind turbine & globe via Shutterstock

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Damir Agic

    After a study in the USA and a global master calculation from AGDA PROJECTMANAGER ( it was generated the some result ) only … read more :

  • JMin2020

    I look forward to the updates Zach.

  • Neil Blanchard

    A conservative estimate of how much renewable energy we *could* gather is 1600% of the entire world’s energy needs!

    We are surrounded by renewable energy, and there is a sustainable abundance. We already know how to gather far more energy than we could possibly need. Germany is well on their way to this – and they only get about as much sun as *Alaska*! If they can do it, then certainly the USA can do it, and with a intelligent mix of sources, renewable energy can meet 100% of need virtually any where!


  • James Wimberley

    You miss out 120%. That’s for the massive carbon sequestration required
    by Hansen’s 350 ppm of CO2 objective. He may be wrong. but it’s a
    serious analysis and proposal. 80% renewable is not. As a matter of
    logic, to stabilise the climate we must at least go carbon-neutral. So 100% renewable is the floor, not the ceiling.

    • Marshall Harris

      You sir get a thumbs up. I agree 100%… maybe 120%. lol

  • Ross Chandler

    With much melting and sea level rise already locked in we’re going to have to go above 100% of our immediate energy needs to power terraforming efforts to fix CO2 out of the atmosphere and/or increase the earth’s albedo.

    • agelbert

      Agreed. That’s where rapid carbon sequestering from the fastest growing angiosperm on the planet (Lemna minor) which can double its mass in a single day and be fertilized with animal feces (it actually cleans the water) and needs no pesticides comes in. While it is true that algae grows faster, algae is more climate finicky and requires more controlled conditions so I hope Lemna minor comes in to its own in the coming years. Full info on it here:
      Note: You need to scroll past some comments to get to the article by me (Agelbert).

  • agelbert

    Thanks Zachary,
    I posted a link to your story at the Doomstead Diner in the hope that some of the doom and gloomers will come over and read your excellent and thorough information and research on the reality that renewables can, should and will replace fossil and nuclear fuels if Homo SAP is to survive as a dues paying member of the biosphere along with all the other life forms here.

    • Zachary Shahan

      Thanks! doom & gloom can certainly get addictive. i also try to pull people out of the trenches a little bit when i can. :D

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