The United States has the potential to generate hundreds of thousands of terawatt-hours of electricity a year from renewable sources, according to a new government study.
Statistics released on July 27 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed that the country could install 200,000 gigawatts of solar power, which would generate 400,000 terrawatt-hours of electricity a year.
In particular, as reported by PV Magazine, rural solar installations have the greatest green energy potential. According to the NREL's report, rural areas could potentially create more than 280,000 terrawatt-hours of electricity a year.
In addition, the report said rooftop installation in several populous states - New York and Illinois were among the top five most populous states according to the 2010 census - had the greatest green energy potential.
Plus, more than 50,000 terrawatts of wind energy could be produced in the United States, according to NREL. The report cited central states like Illinois as having the greatest land-based wind energy potential. In addition, the report mentioned the shallow waters off the Atlantic coast as being ideal locations for offshore wind energy production.
"[F]rom a technical perspective, for electricity generation renewable energy sources (totally excluding nuclear power) could produce several, several times the amount of electricity currently generated in the United States," Mat McDermott wrote in TreeHugger.