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.
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.