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Fossil-Fuel Freedom

New York State Could Achieve It by 2050

Wind TurbinesA new study lays out how New York State’s entire demand for end-use power could be provided by wind (50 percent), solar (38 percent) and geothermal (5 percent), plus wave and tidal energy sources. This ambitious goal could be achieved by 2050, when all conventional fossil fuel generation would be completely phased out. The plan also generates a large net increase in jobs.

Mark Jacobson, a co-author of the study and professor of civil and environmental engineering at California’s Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, analyzes how energy technologies impact the atmosphere and how society can transition rapidly to clean and renewable energy sources if we integrate production and energy use in a systems perspective.

Robert Howarth, Ph.D., the senior co-author and a professor of ecology and environmental biology at Cornell University, in New York, has been tackling climate change and its consequences since the 1970s. He says, “Many pundits tell us that solar, wind, etc., are great conceptually, but that it will take many decades to start to make these technologies economically feasible.” However, “New York is one of the larger economies in the world, and New York City is the most energy-efficient city in the U.S.”

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