US Could Meet All Electricity Needs with Large-Scale Solar Power Plants

Washington, DC (May 8, 2008)- Environment America released a report showing that the United States could meet all of its current electricity needs with large central concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. The report, “On the Rise: Solar Thermal Power and the Fight Against Global Warming,” finds that these solar thermal power plants, covering a 100 by 100 mile area in the Southwest- slightly more than what’s already been excavated in the United States for coal strip mining- could power the entire nation while cutting global warming emissions.


The report says that solar thermal energy storage can help solar power replace traditional energy sources like coal, natural gas, and nuclear power, because the storage that CSP plants can incorporate allows electric generation even when the sun is not shining.
The report says that with state and federal level leadership and the right policies, putting 80 gigawatts of concentrating solar power in place by 2030, enough to power 25 million homes, is within reach. It says CSP would have the potential to generate between 75,000 and 140,000 permanent jobs and cut global warming pollution from US electric power plants by at least 6.6 percent by the year 2030.
Anna Aurilio, Director of Environment America’s Washington DC office, said, “If we are going to get serious about fighting global warming and addressing our nation’s energy woes, solar energy must be part of the solution. Tapping this abundant and clean domestic energy source must be a centerpiece of America’s energy, environmental and economic policies.”
Related Resources:
On the Rise: Solar Thermal Power and the Fight Against Global Warming
Environment America: US Could Meet All Electricity Needs with Large-Scale Solar Power Plants
Daily Green: US Could Meet All Electricity Needs with Large-Scale Solar Power Plants