The Global View

Silly solar sums

Solar panelsGreenbang been wondering about this recent announcement about the construction in the US of what is supposed to be the world’s largest solar plant. It will, when complete, produce some 80-megawatts of power, enough for 21,000 homes. However, achieving this will require about 260 hectares — or about 2.6 million square metres of space.

Now, maybe my back-of-the-envelope calculations are totally out of sync, but this Greenbanger reckons his flat in London is somewhere approaching 100 square metres in size. This means (in London flat equivalents) that this solar plant will take more space to generate the power required for these 21,000 homes than the actual floor space of all of these homes put together.

Of course, this is the US, and the average house is probably about 1 million square metres anyway, but for the rest of the world, it shows what a challenge some renewable energies face. If this was in the UK, one wonders where would they put something like that?