Correlations | Where Renewables Count

Evan Applegate

Solar

GRAPHIC BY BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK. DATA: SILER-EVANS, AZEVEDO, MORGAN, APT 2013

Carnegie Mellon University researchers say solar and wind energy projects are most effective at reducing emissions when they lower local reliance on coal plants.

A solar panel in sunny Arizona might produce a lot of electricity, but building more of them brings diminishing returns as they replace relatively low-emissions natural gas plants. Those same panels in coal-heavy Indiana or West Virginia, while less efficient, displace dirtier power.


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