Arizona has massive solar power resources. Texas, Kansas, and South Dakota together could power the whole country with wind. And the Rocky Mountain region holds vast potential for geothermal power generation. Traditional thinking in renewable energy development holds that we should tap these resources, and then move the power generated around via a next-generation national electric grid.
A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance challenges this conventional wisdom, though, and makes the rather startling claim that 30 of the 50 US states could meet their own electricity demand entirely from in-state sources; seven more could generate 75% of their electricity needs this way. Thus, major (and expensive) improvements to the national grid may not be the most efficient use of resources.