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Decentralized system of renewables is possible

States have a lot more power than they realize.

A recent report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that most states could meet their demand for electricity with renewable energy sources inside their own borders. The report, called Energy Self-Reliant States, examined the commercial potential for wind, rooftop solar, geothermal and small-scale hydro projects, according to the New York Times’ Green Inc. blog.

Thirty-one states, mostly west of the Mississippi, could meet all their electric demand, and all states could generate at least 25 percent of their demand using these in-state resources, the authors of the report suggest. Of the 36 states with current renewable energy goals or mandates, all could meet these goals by relying on in-state renewable fuels, the report found.

Why, then, are these states coming up short despite the possibilities? Finding the right products and services that provide sustainable solutions via renewable resources can be difficult. But they’re out there. Zero Base is but one example. Designed to harness the sun, wind and other resources, the technology has the ability to harvest, store and distribute renewable energy, providing a cost-cutting solution for emergency response to power outages as well as year-round power needs for municipalities.

The report offers a glimpse into what’s possible: Rethinking everything about how we use and generate power and solving more than one problem at a time with easy and affordable solutions. Bringing state and local governments and solution providers together to achieve what’s possible is the next step.

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