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Powering America on Solar by City Tech Blogger Mohammad Raihan

How much of America would we need to supply with solar panels in order to achieve 100% renewable energy status? Not much. In order to provide enough energy for the United States. We would have to produce four million gigawatts of energy per hour. That’s a lot of energy, but if 2.8 acres of land produce 1 gigawatt of energy per hour we would have to use… 11,200,000 acres of land! However, the US all together is about 1.9 billion acres. That’s roughly around .6 percent of the whole of the United States. Easy, doesn’t seem so bad, all America has to do is just set aside .6 percent of land and put solar panels all over the land, and to show how much land would be required. Here’s a map of the US and the amount of land needed to cover.

https://www.good.is/infographics/solar-power-all-of-america

But things aren’t so simple as putting solar panels in an area and that’s that. We would have to worry about cloudy days, how are we going to store that much energy the solar panels would provide. Also, consider all the roads, power lines, and facilities we would need to create because of this, and that would expand the area needed greatly. Also, the wildlife would be affected in that area as well. All of this would cost money, A LOT of money. But, this would also create jobs, improve the economy, and we would set an example for other countries to follow our lead as well. Besides we wouldn’t even need to make all the renewable energy from solar. Wind and hydropower are viable options as well. Additionally, investing in research for solar panels that produce more, and batteries that store more energy are ways of reducing the amount of land needed. Furthermore, spreading the amount of land to different areas would be more beneficial as well. Creating solar farms around major cities would help cities’ economies grow and reduce wildlife disruption. The first step to actually achieving 100% renewable energy status is realizing just how much it would actually take.

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3 Responses

  1. I agree that America should use 100% renewable energy. Yes, it will definitely be hard to achieve that and there will be many disadvantages and advantages to it. But here, I think the disadvantages overtake the advantages. I see on the image you provided it shows that very little land is needed to accomplished this but as mentioned in your post, alot of little things have to be weighed in order to place these solar panels on that land. I think a better way for America to set an example to other countries is by making it mandatory for each household to have solar panels. Once every household, business, school, church, etc. in America has solar panels then that will certainly help our environment. Hopefully after a few years, we can come out with stats and proof that using solar panels does in fact help the environment and that will allow other countries to follow in our footsteps.

    1. Thanks for your comment on 100% renewable energy, Dominick. Perhaps you might follow this subject and find out how expensive solar panels are and if there are any governmental programs to help home owners install the panels. I do believe New York State has such programs, are they in any other state?

  2. I really like your idea and you are absolutely right that it takes a lot of money but it also creates jobs as well. Solar energy is the cleanest energy we have so far but it is expensive too. If some how in the future we are able to generate energy using solar panels on a large scale, we have to store that energy using some sort of batteries in order to use it when its dark. But for crating batteries that hold huge amounts of charge in it will be composed of different chemicals and these chemicals will probably have a long life-span. After time, these chemicals need to be replaced in order to keep the batteries fully functional. So when we dispose these chemicals, we need to take into the consideration that these chemical include acid, lead, nickle, lithium, alkaline, mercury, and metal hydride which have a highly negative impact on the environment.These chemicals are extremely toxic and cause damage to the environment, polluting the soil and water and endangering the wildlife. In time, it will affect people’s health as well.

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