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The future home for all the world's solar panels? Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Powering the World

If the world were to be entirely powered by solar panels (including cars, trains, etc), how much surface area would it take up? According to this website's calculations, the panel farm would have to cover all of Spain to meet the world's energy demands by 2030.

That's a lot (496,805 square kilometers to be exact), and I think the Spanish people would have some objections. Joking aside, given that the total land mass of the Earth is 148,939,063 square kilometers, that is only .3% of the land available. This map by the Land Art Generator Initiative has a suggested layout for all these solar panels. According to the map, the large 124,000 square kilometer panel farm in the Saharan Desert "would power all of Europe and North Africa." Would you give up land in your area for solar panels?


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