To achieve the elimination of emissions by 2040 natural gas, petroleum, nuclear and coal would need to become obsolete. Data supplied by an individual who follows the energy industry revealed that in 2019 the United States consumed 100.2 quadrillion British thermal units (BTU) of energy of which 11% came from renewable energy. Thus, 88% of the Btu's consumed was from petroleum, natural gas, coal and nuclear sources.
If we look solely at wind, a GE Haliade-X turbine produces 19,408,807,65.53 Btu's annually. A simple division of the 88,145,547,00,000,000 Btu's equals 4,541,524 turbines. We would need to install 652.5 wind turbines per day using 6,960 days.
Using a similar methodology a four acre solar farm would produce 462.11 million Btu’s per year and require almost 763 million acres, or 1.19 million sq. miles of land. The United States is 3.8 million sq. miles, thus, 31.37% of America's surface would be solar panels. We would need to install 168.45 sq. miles of solar panels per day to eliminate the need for fossil fuels.
How much of our agricultural land and food production would be lost and what food would replace it? Soylent Green!
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!