12 May '18, 10am

How Much Space Would It Take to Solar-Power the United States?

How Much Space Would It Take to Solar-Power the United States?

How much space would it take to put the whole of the United States on solar power? —Janice in Spokane, Washington Well, it depends a lot on the region where you install those solar panels. Las Vegas gets almost twice as much solar energy as some other places, with 26.8 kilowatt-hours per day in a five-kilowatt system, compared to 14.9 kWh per day in Seattle. The figure that’s been bandied about is that it would “only” take 17,500 square miles to generate the 4 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy we burn through every year. If you put those miles in a single place, you’d have a square that’s 132 miles on each side, in the most solar-friendly climate. And this area does not account for the roads, service areas, wires, transformers, etc. that would take up a chunk of those miles. You’d also have to make up for a loss of 5 percent in transmission lines and a loss of around 15 pe...

Full article: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/ask-mr-green/how-much-s...

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