Climate Change Stories

Power of Place: Clean Energy Solutions that Protect People and Nature

TNC’s national report can help energy planners and policymakers execute net-zero strategies that maximize benefits for climate, nature, and people.

Looking between two large arrays of solar panels, blue sky above.
Power of the Sun Solar power: A key part of the renewable energy transition. © Adobe Stock Photo

Power of Place-National

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The United States needs to build an unprecedented amount of clean energy to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Power of Place-National lays out a vision and recommendations that steer energy planners and policymakers towards  thoughtful net-zero strategies that benefit climate, conservation, and communities.

The Power of Place The Power of Place study by The Nature Conservancy outlines where and how we can cost-effectively use land to deliver clean energy solutions while minimizing impacts to biodiversity and people.

The News is Good: 

With careful and coordinated planning and robust community engagement, the U.S. can build the clean energy infrastructure needed for economy-wide, net-zero emissions by 2050 while avoiding most impacts to sensitive natural and working lands.

What Happens When We Take the Power of Place Approach to Energy Planning and Development?

Climate: We achieve net-zero emissions nationwide by 2050.

Conservation: Most sensitive wildlife and habitat avoid harm from development of new clean energy infrastructure.

Communities: New clean energy opportunities are created in areas that have historically been economically driven by the fossil fuel industry.

Crops: Significant acreage of highly productive croplands avoid impacts of new clean energy development. 

Cost: Clean energy infrastructure is built cost-effectively.

More Power of Place Resources

  • Voices from the West is the companion report to Power of Place-West. Tribal lands account for 7% of the lands within the 11 Western states and Indigenous Peoples have extensive knowledge and experience effectively managing and stewarding lands across the West.

    The Nature Conservancy interviewed leaders from Tribal and Indigenous communities to learn about their experiences with energy development. The report provides a perspective on the importance of including Tribal voices in planning for energy and infrastructure.

    Download Voices from the West Report

  • Power of Place-California is the study that started them all. TNC's projections are that California may need between 1.6 and 3.1 million acres of wind and solar by 2050 to decarbonize the electricity system and support the movement to “electrifying everything."

    In Power of Place-California, released in June 2019, TNC found that incorporating nature at the outset of energy planning not only results in lower impacts to wildlife and habitat, but helps direct new clean energy investments to the places where they can be developed with more certainty.

    Explore Power of Place - California

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