A new study, co-authored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, finds that it is technically and economically feasible to convert New York’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one powered by wind, water and sunlight (WWS). The plan outlines a way to a sustainable and reliable energy supply that will create local jobs and save the state billions of dollars in pollution-related costs. The study is the first to develop a plan to fulfill all of a state’s transportation, electric power, industry, and heating and cooling energy needs with renewable energy, and to calculate the number of new devices and jobs created, amount of land and ocean areas required, and policies needed for such an infrastructure change.While WWS conversion may come along with increased capital costs, they would be made up for by the elimination of fuel costs and the switch would also create a net gain in manufacturing and technology jobs. The calculations of this study outline exactly what sort of technology and how much of it will be needed to meet New York’s 2030 power demand for all sectors. Also according to the study, if New York switched to WWS, air pollution–related deaths would decline by about 4,000 annually and the state would save about $33 billion in related health costs every year. Currently, almost all of New York’s energy comes from imported oil, coal and gas. Under the plan that Jacobson and his fellow researchers advance, 40 percent of the state’s energy would come from local wind power, 38 percent from local solar and the remainder from a combination of hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal and wave energy. The authors of this study are also developing similar plans for other states, including California and Washington.
Source: Stanford researchers map out an alternative energy future for New York, March 12, 2013