How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power Australia?

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
September 29, 2016

Energymatters reported that supporters and advocates of solar power often wonder how many solar panels it would take to power Australia. And if the solar panels are grouped together, how much land would those solar panels actually occupy?

Image credit: http://www.energymatters.com.au/
Image credit: http://www.energymatters.com.au/

These numbers can be estimated thanks to a project from the Land Generator Initiative. In the image on the right, the yellow square on Australia’s map shows the solar panel coverage needed to provide the country’s needs in 2030 (including electricity, transport and replacing any other traditional sources of energy).

The image is from the global map from the Land Generator Initiative, whose calculations were based on the US Department of Energy’s figures of projected worldwide consumption of energy in all its forms as projected in 2030. That is a staggering 199,721 terawatt hours.

It’s a big area, however, LGI says the amount can be reduced by 5%-25% by adding other renewable energy sources like wind power, wave power and any existing hydroelectric power. New hydroelectric facilities are not considered as an alternative as their construction causes damage to the environment by flooding valleys and altering river flows.

If concentrating solar power technologies were used, the amount of land needed will be much less and the existing rooftop space utilised for solar power generation would further decrease the amount of land needed for such an initiative.

Click here to read full story on Energymatters

Featured Image Credit: Murray Foubister

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