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Published on June 23rd, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan


How The US, UK, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, & Italy Can Each Go 100% Renewable

June 23rd, 2015 by  

As you are probably well aware, the good folks at The Solutions Project have published plans for how each of the 50 states in the US could switch to 100% renewable energy. Importantly, they didn’t just paint a broad stroke — they actually looked at electricity needs by region in 15-minute segments for the entire year and matched those with the most logical renewable energy resources in the region.

What you might not know is that The Solutions Project crew (led by Mark Z Jacobson on the research end) has been doing the same thing for countries across the world.

In simplistic form, you can see what splits The Solutions Project formulated for the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan in the 7 infographics below that Mark recently shared with me. Enjoy!

USA-English-Final UK-English-Final CANADA-English-Final FRANCE-English-Final GERMANY-English-Final ITALY-English-Final JAPAN-English-Final

I won’t summarize each of those since you can easily look at the splits yourself, but I’ll highlight a few things that stood out to me:

1) Most of the plans rely heavily on wind power. Even Japan gets 28% from wind power. This is not too surprising, given how cost-competitive (read: cheap) wind power is. However, it also means that the sociopolitical barriers to wind power that we’re already seeing in many places need to be dismantled and more effectively avoided.

2) The Germany plan has the country getting a lot of its energy from geothermal!

3) Rooftop solar PV, while a part of the plans, doesn’t carry a large percentage of the burden. While there’s a ton of room for growth in this segment, limited roof space (further limited by the challenges of putting solar on rentals and multifamily dwellings) and presumably the cost-competitiveness of other options make rooftop solar just one role player in the broader scheme of things.

4) The plan for Japan has it getting a much larger portion of its energy needs from large PV plants than I would have expected.

Any other thoughts on these general 100% renewable energy plans? 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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