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Clean Energy Calculator

If every American drove an electric car, would it cut down on our gas consumption enough to stop importing oil? How many coal-powered plants must be shuttered to significantly slash greenhouse gas emissions? Ever wonder what percentage of U.S. households need to install solar panels to make a dent in our use of coal as an energy source? To provide some answers, we’ve built a set of energy calculators to project how the use of solar, wind, coal, and electric cars will evolve over the course of a decade, cutting our reliance on fossil fuels. To test a scenario, simply adjust the slider below.

Note: Predicting how the U.S. energy industry will evolve over the course of a decade is an ambitious undertaking, given the massive scale, complex systems, and sheer number of unknowns that can skew any projection. These calculators leverage the insights and modeling of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tracks the clean energy and carbon markets. To build these calculators, the analyses have been simplified for ease of use, assuming mostly linear effects. In reality, none of these effects is actually "linear." For example, large amounts of new residential solar power will disrupt the way that entire U.S. electric system operates. While we try to predict how a "decarbonized energy economy" might evolve over the next decade, the truth is that no one really has a firm understanding of how all these interactions will play out. Nevertheless, these calculators hopefully do provide some useful measure of guidance about the potential trajectories for the U.S. energy sector, as well as highlight the dizzying set of uncertainties faced by energy industry executives and policymakers.

See more from Fix This: Energy

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