One of the reasons that a vehicle powered by something other than gasoline is such a popular idea in the U.S. is that it helps us become less reliant on other countries for our transportation needs. To this end, biofuels and electric vehicles offer great potential to use local sources of energy in our vehicles. To get a handle on how much green electricity – wind, geothermal, solar, etc. – is available in the U.S., the Insitute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has conducted a study on renewable energy potential and came away with some amazing figures. The Energy Self-Reliant States study found that 31 states have the potential to produce more renewable energy in-state than they currently use and that another ten could make more than 75 of the amount. The state with the worst potential, Kentucky, could still meet 24 percent of its electricity needs using renewable energy.

The big problem with all of this potential is the cost of setting up the renewable energy production devices. Solar panels are not cheap, and wind farms have their own opponents. While no one expects Texas, for example, to make 533 percent more energy than it needs using renewable sources, ILSR shows that it's at least possible, and that should give hope to EV proponents (no more coal-powered grid!) and hydrogen vehicle fans (electrolyze water with green energy!) alike. Download the PDF of the study and see for yourself.

[Source: ISLR via Treehugger]

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