Making room for renewables

The International Herald Tribune and New York Times published a very interesting article called Illuminating the future of Energy, written by David J.C. MacKay a professor of physics at the University of Cambridge.

The article gave the  following interesting  facts: “Concentrating solar power stations in deserts, for example, can produce 15 or 20 watts per square meter, on average, year-round, day and night. Germany’s famous solar parks in Bavaria produce about 5 watts per square meter of land area, on average. A hydroelectric facility in Scotland has power per surface area of 11 watts per square meter of lake.

Wind farms, if they are in windy locations, produce roughly 2.5 watts per square meter of land or sea, on average. The best energy crops in Europe deliver about 0.5 watt per square meter.

So, can the world “easily” live on renewables, setting aside environmental, economic, and social constraints?

The full article is available online on IHT and NYT.


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