Thursday, January 5, 2023

Land vs Renewable Fantasies

Song: DJ Shadow "Building Steam with a Grain of Salt"

I mentioned this before, but the amount of land needed to power the United States country with renewables is simply prohibitive. From that Ezra Klein podcast:

Jesse Jenkins:

...[In] The most cost-effective of our net-zero scenarios, [wind] spans an area that is equal to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee put together. And the solar farms are an area the size of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

Ezra Klein:

Holy crap.

Jesse Jenkins:

So these are big, big areas.

The answer, of course, is Nukes Nukes Nukes! And carbon capture, which will require even more electricity.

More useful to dream of donuts than a pastoral sustainable future.


Ken Schulz said...

Rooftop solar alone could provide 40% of current consumption.,suitable%20roofs%20in%20the%20US.
Offshore wind is a thing.
The footprint of a wind turbine is small relative to spacing, so crops can be raised underneath.

Matt Ball said...

Let me ask you this, Ken - would you bet your life that the ArsTechnica article is true? There is a ton of motivated reasoning going on when it comes to climate change. People start with their desired conclusion (e.g., climate change is not a real threat; renewables can solve everything) and choose their sources accordingly.