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.
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“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.