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Solomon Goldstein-Rose, TED


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 37 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



Downloadable MP4/M4V

How Much Clean Electricity Do We Really Need?

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  • In this TED video, climate author Solomon Goldstein-Rose explains that we need to produce twelve times more clean electricity to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. 
  • Students will learn that the global energy system must be rebuilt to fulfill increased energy demands, provide electricity access to developing nations, and compensate for things that cannot be electrified.
Teaching Tips


  • Although we need to produce twelve times the amount of clean electricity we produce today, the video's message remains hopeful.
  • The video explains that reliable electricity access can lift people out of poverty.
  • The transcript is available in nine languages and contains a read-along feature for students who need support.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand how fossil fuel production contributes to climate change and what will happen if current fossil fuel use continues.
  • Students should understand the terms net-zero emissions and net-negative emissions.


Scientist Notes
This 10-minute TED talk describes the current and future needs for energy generation from non-fossil fuel sources. It presents current demand and walks through projections of potential future demand for the global population. This resource focuses primarily on technological innovations (new energy sources, new plants, etc.) and doesn't address behavior or efficiency changes, but otherwise is a good resource. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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