Thanks to Obama’s Clean Power Plan announced earlier this week, each state in the US has been charged with plotting a way to a cleaner energy future. While the goal for the entire country is to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by a third by 2030, as you can see from this map, some states are already getting almost all of their power from carbon-free sources.
The Washington Post’s John Muyskens, Dan Keating and Samuel Granados put together a gorgeous interactive map showing the location of every energy-generating source in the country and how much power they’re making. But what’s particularly awesome about this map is that you can view, state by state, exactly how much of that energy already comes from renewable sources.
Oregon, for example, already gets 69 percent of its energy from hydroelectric plants, 20 percent from natural gas, and 10 percent from wind. Contrast that to a state like West Virginia, where 95 percent of the energy comes from coal plants, and you can see how some states will have to change their entire economies to meet the plan’s mandates.
The maps also break down each energy source to show which states are leaders in each type of power generation. You can easily see how each state is making energy choices that are geographically specific, but also where the opportunities are still to be found. Solar plants currently only supply eight percent of the country’s power, but it’s the fastest-growing renewable energy industry. These maps will change significantly over the next 15 years, and that’s a very good thing.
Check out the interactive maps and charts at the Washington Post to see the whole package.
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