A new interactive map analyzes how each state can meet 50% of its energy demand through the deployment of solar panels as part of the U.S. reaching its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The analysis – first appearing in the August edition of Solar Energy – suggests that oversized solar photovoltaic can meet 50% of U.S. energy demand “firmly and affordably,” while occupying just .25% of the continental U.S. land surface.
The authors say 3.8 TW would meet the demand of electric, transportation, and building sectors.
“While it is widely known that the solar resource is sufficient to meet the world’s energy demand many times over, the questions of where and how much to deploy in a realistic context do not have such clear-cut answers,” University of Albany atmospheric scientist Richard Perez and his co-authors wrote. “Sensible answers are important in light of growing societal mandates to displace carbon-based energy resources.”
The interactive map allows users to adjust the total percentage of load needed to be met by PV power, ground efficiency of PV panels, and other subsets.