Bloomberg news analysis: Biden’s solar/wind goals will eat up land – Will ‘require tremendous amount of land’ in the U.S.
The U.S. Will Need a Lot of Land for a Zero-Carbon Economy
By Dave Merrill
Excerpt: Wind farms, solar installations and other forms of clean power take up far more space on a per-watt basis than their fossil-fuel-burning brethren. A 200-megawatt wind farm, for instance, might require spreading turbines over 19 square miles (49 square kilometres). A natural-gas power plant with that same generating capacity could fit onto a single city block. …
To fulfill his vision of an emission-free grid by 2035, the U.S. needs to increase its carbon-free capacity by at least 150%. Expanding wind and solar by 10% annually until 2030 would require a chunk of land equal to the state of South Dakota, according to Bloomberg and Princeton University estimates.
By 2050, when Biden wants the entire economy to be carbon free, the U.S. will need up to four additional South Dakotas to develop enough clean power to run all the electric vehicles, factories and more.
No matter how you slice it, the U.S. will need to dedicate more land to producing power in an emissions-free future.
Exhaust a lot of land to accommodate renewables—more than is currently used for fossil fuels? No nuclear? What sustainability? (Expect us to also be dependent on foreign nations on rare earth minerals too.)
Reimagining the economy like this is ruinous.
— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) May 2, 2021