Robert Bryce has a great article over at Quillette in which he discusses the incredible amounts of land that would be needed for renewable energy would cause a backlash in rural areas. Here’s the deal:
Jacobson had vastly underestimated the amount of land required for his scheme, an error that he repeats in his latest report. Clack and colleagues determined that Jacobson’s plan would require “nearly 500,000 square kilometers, which is roughly 6 percent of the continental United States, and more than 1,500 square meters of land for wind turbines for each American.” In other words, as I reported in National Review, Clack and colleagues:
…found that Jacobson understated the amount of land needed for his all-renewable dystopia by a factor of 15. But even that understates the amount of territory needed. Jacobson’s plan requires about 2.5 terawatts (2.5 trillion watts) of wind-energy capacity, with the majority of that amount onshore. The Department of Energy has repeatedly stated that the areal footprint of wind energy—known in physics terms as its capacity density—is a mere 3 watts per square meter. A bit of math shows that 2.5 trillion watts divided by 3 watts per square meter equals 833 billion square meters (or 833,000 square kilometers): That’s a territory nearly twice the size of California.
The idea of using two California-size pieces of territory—and covering them with hundreds of thousands of wind turbines—is absurd on its face.