6 thoughts on “How much surface area do we need to power the world with solar panels?

    1. according to the IAEA, if we mined every ounce of radioactive material on the planet we’d have enough power for nuclear generation for everyone on the planet… for 10 years. And how much would it cost, both environmentally and economically to dig up all that uranium? You gotta remember, these aren’t nuclear powered diggers doing this, it’s all petroleum based equipment.

      And again, one of the largest piles of natural uranium is in Iran. So we’d have to either come to terms with them, or just steam roll over them to get at the materials..

  1. I think Tiki hit the nail on the head so far as where the real problems lie. Fossil fuels, and nuclear power are an extremely limited resource, especially in relation to global power needs.

    The reality of energy is that the earth has more than enough energy, infinitely more than we would ever need, to power the entire planet cleanly, for as long as we could ever possibly need. (IE up until we have to leave the planet or get toasted to a crisp by the sun.)

    The problem is more a matter of the enormous costs of creating an adequate global power distribution grid, and manufacturing and installing all of the equipment required to harness all of that energy.

    Then of course there is the problem that people (and fossil fuel companies, etc.) don’t want to see an endless field of solar panels, geothermal plants, wave generators or wind farms in their back yards.

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