RE-Mixing our Energy Future

What does it really mean to go 100% renewable?

RE-Mixer is a free Excel-based renewable energy planning tool developed by ProtoGen and built to make energy transitions a more accessible goal for communities everywhere.

Communities are pushing for a renewable energy transition, bringing new voices to the conversation. These voices have the power to shape a political outcome but success will require aligning highly complex technology, economics and regulatory knowledge sets. Tools and resources are needed to educate, build capacity, and promote collaboration among community members and leadership.

In this paper, we introduce the RE-Mixer tool and demonstrate how it can help drive energy transition goals by mapping 100% renewable energy in Southeastern PA. To kick off the conversation, we used RE-Mixer to map a transition scenario for Southeastern PA’s five-county region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia). 

The scenario considers achieving 100% Renewable Energy for the area by 2050. The analysis found that:

  • that building the total necessary renewable energy and battery capacity would cost approximately $37 billion (2019$)
  • the calculated requirement of 34,879 MW of grid-scale PV translates to an area of 284 miles²—12.89% of the total five-county area, or 17 x 17 miles
  • this is about 13% of the estimated $290 billion that the region would otherwise spend over the same period (including all sources of Residential, Commercial & Industrial, and Mobile-Highway energy use)

Download the whitepaper to learn more: “
RE-Mixing Our Energy Future: What Does It Really Mean to Go 100% Renewable?”.

Ready for 100 Resolution:

Communities taking charge of renewable energy transitions

Ready for 100 brings into focus a political path forward with communities setting the terms of an energy transition and becoming the increments of change. A community-focused approach promotes equitable distribution of the economic and environmental benefits among local users and generators of energy.

From a practical perspective, communities powered by 100% RE may likely look very different than they do today: solar accounted for less than a quarter of a percent of electricity generated in PA in 2018, and more than 80% of that was from small, distributed systems such as rooftop PV.

Seventeen Southeastern Pennsylvania municipalities passed Ready for 100 (RF100) resolutions, bringing the nation’s total to 180. The resolution language typically sets targets of 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2035 and for all other requirements (think heat and transportation) by 2050, and calls for the creation of a supporting plan. These commitments are the results of grassroots campaigns.

Tackling 100% Renewable Energy:

How the RE-Mixer tool can take renewable energy from a goal to a reality

RE-Mixer started as a  tool built to calculate the amount of solar needed to completely offset one county’s annual electricity usage. While presenting our findings, it became evident that there’s a real need to make energy transition planning more accessible for community stakeholders. Over the ensuing weeks, RE-Mixer was born.

RE-Mixer is a simple Excel-based renewable energy planning tool. Unlike sophisticated engineering tools or black-box proprietary policy modeling suites, RE-Mixer serves as a point of entry for audiences looking to understand the relative scale and scope of the renewable energy transition. It allows for an iterative review, analysis and projection of energy demand and renewable energy sources over a user-specified period of years, and outputs information about the corresponding renewable energy capacity requirements, costs, land use, and GHG reductions.

The tool is pre-populated with 2018 EIA data electricity generation fuel sources by state and 2015 DVRPC estimates of municipal-level electrical energy demand for nine Delaware Valley counties. Users can select from these data or input their own. The model inputs are pre-populated with assumptions based on research and industry resources which we’ve made available here

Help your community make the transition

Interested in helping your community navigate the transition to renewable energy? Download the RE-Mixer tool and get started.