From the skyscraping skyscrapers of Boston to the lush emerald countryside, the commonwealth of Massachusetts is one of America’s most beautiful states. Its inhabitants are incredibly proud of their home, and they often express this through their cuisine which is known for its bold flavours and incredible seafood. If you’ve ever been there, then you know that the entire experience can be quite unforgettable. It’s one of the most popular travel destinations in the country, thanks in part to the fact that residents there can enjoy their own personal paradise. While it might be tempting to visit the commonwealth for its rich culture and dazzling scenery, you should also make the most of the environment by contributing to its clean energy economy. After all, what good is a vacation if the environment suffers?
As one of the most affluent states in the country, you might assume that Massachusetts would have a fairly high standard of living and an abundance of green energy. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as the commonwealth still relies on pricey imported fossil fuels to generate electricity which is then consumed by the population. In fact, the largest city, Boston, imports more energy than it needs, and the situation is the same across all the other cities and towns in the state. Something needs to change, and soon.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the environment awareness group Zero Mass Waste South Coast, this situation is hopefully about to change for the better. The non-profit organization has conducted a study which measures just how much energy each state in America consumes, and how much renewable energy they produce. The results of this study were recently published by Zero Mass Waste on their website and outline just how much energy Massachusetts can produce and how much energy comes from renewable sources.
The findings are incredibly promising and give residents there a real chance to leave a positive impact behind. To start with, let’s take a look at how much energy each state consumes:
How Much Energy Does Each State Consume?
Every year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes a report detailing how much energy each state uses. The latest edition of this report was published in June 2019 and estimates that Massachusetts consumes 4.95 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year. This makes it the 6th highest energy consumer in the country. Michigan is the highest energy user with an estimated peak of 7.16 million megawatt-hours per year.
The good news is that the state creates nearly as much energy as it consumes. Its renewable energy sources generate 4.88 million megawatt-hours of electricity, which is enough to power nearly half the population of Massachusetts. The report estimates that, by 2040, the state’s energy consumption and generation will be virtually the same. This means that it has the potential to completely overhaul its energy economy by shifting toward greener sources of energy.
The EIA’s report also estimates that, by 2040, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia will also see a significant drop in their energy consumption. This is due, in part, to the fact that these states generate a significantly higher proportion of their electricity from renewable energies such as solar and wind power. The benefits of switching to renewable energies are countless. Not only does it help combat climate change, but it also provides homeowners with a cheaper and more stable source of energy. If you live in one of these states, then there’s no time to waste in taking advantage of its abundant resources.
How Much Does Massachusetts Produce?
Having established how much energy each state consumes, one would assume that the corresponding figure for production would be lower. However, the situation turns out to be the opposite. Massachusetts is one of the biggest producers of energy in America, with 7.18 million megawatt-hours being generated each year. This is enough to power nearly six out of every ten households in the state. Its renewable energies contribute a significant portion of this figure with 5.51 million megawatt-hours per year. However, much of this energy is lost along the way which leaves the commonwealth heavily reliant on fossil fuels (e.g. coal and natural gas) for its electricity needs. The situation is the same for all the other states in the study. Michigan is the biggest producer of energy with 11.48 million megawatt-hours per year and is also one of the highest energy consumers. This means that it has the ability to generate a significantly larger proportion of its electricity from renewable sources compared to other states in the study.
Why Are States Like Massachusetts Generating More Energy Than They Consume?
If you take a look at the graph below, you’ll see that roughly half of all the states in America have a lower energy consumption than they generate. This is mainly due to the fact that these states rely heavily on renewable energies for its electricity needs. In most cases, these energies are provided by solar and wind farms which absorb the sun’s energy during the day and release it at night, allowing power to be generated 24/7.
The states which are generating more electricity than they consume are mainly concentrated in the south. This is mainly because the power companies there have the ability to procure cheaper and more abundant sources of energy. Also, many states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia generate a significant portion of their electricity from solar and wind energies. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ranked these three states as the 5th, 6th, and 7th largest electricity producers in America. The report also notes that, by 2040, solar power will have reached such a level of abundance that it will be able to supply all of the electricity needs of these states.
These figures prove that solar and wind energies are more than capable of powering the modern world. Not only that, but they can also be significantly cheaper and more abundant than traditional fossil fuels. All it takes is for the powers that be to change the way we think about energy and realize its potential. For years, fossil fuels have been the power source of choice with many people viewing electricity as a luxury which only the wealthy could afford. However, this perception has changed dramatically in recent years with many states switching to renewable energies and cutting back on their reliance on fossil fuels. The shift to clean energy is already under way, and the benefits are being felt by everyone. If you’ve been holding off on investing in solar power due to cost concerns, then now might be the perfect time to change your mind.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Texas which is the largest consumer of energy in America. It uses more than 11 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, the equivalent of what 15 million cars would use. This is mainly due to the fact that the state is a major oil producer and refiner, and the industry pays handsomely. As a result, these industries encourage the use of as much energy as possible which, in turn, leads to higher energy consumption. The situation is the same for the other states in the study. There’s no doubt that Texas is one of America’s great industries, but the state could use a bit more green energy and less oil.
The good news is that the situation is improving. As more people become eco-friendly and mindful of the environment, they’re cutting back on their energy consumption and boosting renewables. Many states have already made a significant shift to cleaner energies, and this is only going to increase in the coming years. The days of relying on fossil fuels for energy are increasingly numbered, and it’s a great day to be a part of that change. By investing in solar power, you’ll help to create a more sustainable world, and that’s truly something to celebrate.