EGEB: Europe could power the world with wind til 2050, US DOE says turn your AC up, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Onshore wind farms in Europe could potentially power the world until 2050.
  • US Department of Energy: Chill out with that AC use.
  • US DOE awards green energy money to farmers, rural businesses.
  • Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten converts three of its ships to hybrid.

EGEB: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

A new study from the University of Sussex and Aarhus University found that onshore wind farms in Europe can supply enough energy for the entire world through 2050, according to They “have the capacity to produce 100 times the energy that is currently generated.”

The investigation was focused on advanced data from Geographical Information System (GIS)-based wind atlases… The researchers estimated that more than 11 million additional wind turbines could be installed over almost 5 million square kilometers of terrain.

Professor Mark Jacobson said:

One of the most important findings of this study, aside from the fact that it concludes that the European onshore wind potential is larger than previously estimated, is that it facilitates the ability of countries to plan their onshore wind resource development more efficiently, thereby easing the way for commitments by these countries to move entirely to clean, renewable energy for all purposes.

The research is published in the Energy Policy journal.

Keep it (not as) cool

The US Department of Energy recently published a report that recommends thermostat settings in your home for energy efficiency. Your thermostat should be set no cooler than 78 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) in the summer when you’re home and 85 F (29 C) when you’re away.

Their reasons for making temperature recommendations?

Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of about $29 billion to homeowners. As a result, roughly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year.

According to Newsweek, the Twittersphere isn’t happy with these recommendations, particularly in what has been a record-breaking hot summer. Some tweet replies are pretty funny, but the DOE makes a good point.

Money for US rural farmers, businesses for green energy

The US Department of Agriculture is distributing $9.3 million in loan and grant funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the US. It will announce further funding in coming weeks.

According to the USDA:

Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower, and solar. Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.

Nextgov says that many of this week’s recipients will use the money to install solar array systems. They explain:

The funds and investments are for small businesses outside of cities or towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants and ranchers and producers with at least 50% of their gross income coming from agricultural operations.

Norwegian cruise line goes hybrid

Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten is “transforming three of its existing vessels to hybrid-powered expedition cruise ships,” according to Cruise Trade News.

Hurtigruten is headed toward having one of the greenest fleets in the cruising world. Cruises aren’t known for being eco-friendly. (Here’s Friends of the Earth’s 2019 Cruise Ship report card. Spoiler: There are a lot of Fs.)

Hurtigruten’s converted ships “will be equipped with battery packs, shore power, and other green technology designed to dramatically cut emissions. They will sail year-round expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast from 2021.” Further, the cruise line hopes to use dead fish and organic waste to power some of its ships.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.