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According to a new study by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), wind turbines on the continental US could generate 37 PWh a year. What NREL researchers found: “current wind technology deployed in non-environmentally protected areas could generate 37,000,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year.” So exclude national parks, wilderness and wetlands, lakes and ponds and high population areas, mount wind turbines on the rest and the US could generate twelve times the energy that we’re currently using solely through wind power.
Add solar and other renewables, and the potential is awesome. A new map of the US details which states could supply 100% of their energy needs through renewables. It illustrates that at least sixty percent of the 50 United States of America could generate all the electricity that it requires within its own borders. According to the New Rules Project, the report states that “every state with a renewable energy mandate can meet it with in-state renewable fuels.” And, as the report discusses, even these estimates may be conservative. According to the map, many states could supply upwards of 1000 times their energy needs with renewables.