The idea of hitting 100% renewable energy (yes, energy, not just electricity) scares a lot of people. That is, a lot of people don’t think their cities or countries can achieve 100% renewable energy. However, a leading energy researcher at Stanford has led teams of researchers in order to practically show how 139 different countries could go 100% renewable.
You can find the results of each of the plans right here.
Based on research done by Stanford University, led by Mark Z. Jacobson, The Solutions Project is popularizing the maps and plans. It has created infographics, like the one above, highlighting which future energy mix will theoretically be the best to achieve the zero-emission target for each of these 139 countries. On the main page, there’s an interactive infographic. Hover over it, and you get the basic data for each of the countries.
By clicking on one of the nations, many more details are revealed. Fascinating numbers included newly created employment that would theoretically result from the switch to renewable energy, current and future energy costs, and health benefits resulting from the proposed transition.
For the United States, The Solutions Project even created a plan for each separate state, showing at an even more detailed level what a transition to clean energy could look like for the organization’s home country.
The data is not just based on energy usage for electricity generation, but for all-purpose energy use. That means it covers energy demand for demand for transportation, heating, industry, and agriculture.
The research on which the roadmaps are developed is conducted using a consistent methodology across all countries and with the goal of minimizing emissions of both air pollutants and greenhouse gases and particles. Many factors were taken into account, such as future energy demand, costs, and land use availability. And demand as well as potential supply are projected in 15-minute segments all throughout the year.
Although the project convincingly shows how we can generate enough renewable energy for our complete energy consumption by 2050, it is less certain how we get to that future for each specific sector. Cars will switch to electric drivetrains, for which renewable electricity can be generated, but when will the kerosene-powered aviation sector be able to transition — this is a much harder case.
But The Solutions Project’s maps do give a comprehensive look at what our energy future might look like. By spreading the positive impact of such a transition, The Solutions Project might even bring the carbon-neutral future sooner. That is, of course, the aim.