Carl brady 100% renewable energy production would take up most of u.s. land area – longmont times-call gas after eating red meat


The Times-Call recently reported that the attendees at a public forum expressed a strong preference for 100 percent renewable energy. It might surprise those attendees to learn that a newly released study casts doubt upon the viability of such an energy supply. gas bubble in back The "Achilles heel" revealed by the study is the amount of land area it would require. electricity production by state The diffuse nature of both wind and solar energy has long been generally acknowledged but not really quantified. When quantification has been attempted, rough "rule of thumb" calculations or computer modeling has been used. What has been missing were observations to support the modeling. electricity billy elliot backing track Then, a few months ago, the U.S. gas and supply locations Geological Survey released the locations of 57,636 wind turbines around the U.S. Using this data set, in combination with several other U.S. government databases, researchers at Harvard University quantified the power density of a large fraction of the wind farms (411) and of the solar photovoltaic plants (1,150) operating in the U.S. during 2016.

The results are astonishing. The Harvard lead researcher states, "For wind, we found that the average power density — meaning the rate of energy generation divided by the encompassing area of the wind plant — was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts." The researchers also found that it was much lower than estimates from the U.S. grade 9 electricity unit review Department of Energy and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Solar fared better with a power density about 10 times greater than wind but still lower than that usually estimated. The researchers found the average power densities for wind farms to be 0.50, and for solar plants 5.4, watts per square meter. gas laws worksheet pdf This comprehensive peer-reviewed study titled " Observation-based Solar and Wind Power Capacity Factors and Power Densities" was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters on Oct. 4 but seems to have been ignored by most of the media.

Such energy would largely be in the form of wind and solar since hydro power development is at a standstill or receding and other types are negligible. Wind energy generates about five times as much power in the U.S. as solar power, making a combined wind and solar power density of about 0.6 watts per square meter. electricity dance moms And, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the 2017 total installed electricity generation capacity in the United States was about 1.2 trillion watts. If that capacity were to be all supplied by wind and solar, at a power density of 0.6 watts per square meter, it would require 2 trillion square meters or about 770,000 square miles of land area. That’s about 26 percent of the total land area in the contiguous United States. But wait, most of those expressing a preference for using 100 percent renewable energy aren’t just talking about the current energy used to generate electricity, they want to get rid of all fossil fuels, the gasoline, diesel and aircraft fuel used for transportation plus any natural gas, coal or oil used for residential, commercial and industrial heating processes. To do that, all of those processes have to be converted to run on electricity and then all of that additional electricity generated using wind and solar.

How much would the electrical capacity in the U.S. have to be to do that? A pretty good estimate can be made by looking at the latest Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Energy Flow chart for the U.S. The total useful energy produced in the U.S. is about 2.5 times as much as the current electrical energy generated, making the total electrical capacity needed to be 2.5 times the present capacity or about 3 trillion watts which would require about 1,930,000 square miles or about 65 percent of the total land area in the contiguous United States. And that estimate is actually somewhat low for at least two reasons. gas tax oregon Much of the additional wind and solar would have to be installed in areas not as appropriate as the present installations and the conversion of electrical energy to mechanical energy for transportation purposes would incur additional losses. The obvious conclusion then is that going to 100 percent renewable energy does not appear to be feasible, without even considering any of the other drawbacks, simply because of the enormous amount of land area that would be required.