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 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
Power of Place-West is The Nature Conservancy’s study that identifies the optimal pathway to reach net zero emissions by 2050 across the 11 Western states.
Working with industry-leading energy researchers, we combined best-in-class energy modeling tools with the latest ecosystem and wildlife habitat data to advise the deployment of clean energy infrastructure across the West.
Technical Briefing (.pdf)
Web Presentation (350MB mp4)
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.
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.