How Many Solar Panels Does it Take to Power the World?

Ever wondered just how much surface area you would need to supply the entire world with all of its power needs using only energy collected from solar panels?  Luckily for us the Land Art Generator Initiative have done all the math.  Crunching the numbers based on our current and projected energy usage and using statistics grounded on the solar technology that is available to us today, they have created this handy map of what 2030 could look like.  The map shows use distributed roughly proportional to use and weather patterns.

A related link in the article shows an alternative map based on offshore wind power.

Link - via coolinfographics

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by renderanything.

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lol, never said I was an expert, but I know more about it than most. You have said absolutely nothing to refute my original points, just yelling and name calling.

The only benefit of solar is being "green". Solar is not cheaper, more hassle free, or convenient than the grid. Solar is a good idea if you live rurally or you want to impress your naive neighbors with how much you care about the environment. But that's it.

To top it off, the solar array required to power the whole house is far larger than people realize. The amount of cutting down on power use the average household would have to do is more than most would want. If everyone is working during the day and gone, you'll be using GRID power when you get home. Why? Because you don't have batteries! LMAO So while a system doesn't NEED batteries or a generator, lifestyles may dictate otherwise.

XZaapryca "The Amateur" (oh, I can spell too)
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XZaapryca HAve you ever installed solar? and I dont mean just once. Not everyone has to have both battery and generator backup, no one said anything about taking the grid apart, the grid is you backup.

what you need for a solar system
disconnect switches
grid tie inverter
combiner box (optional)

WOW do you see batteries in there?, or generators?
NO you dont, because the grid is your battery, and you dont need to knock the snow off it if you have a DE-ICER put on it.

YOU, as anyone can plaing see, are not the expert you with, and maybe you should have asked someone who really does know, and you shouldnt be talking as if you do know.

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Anyone who says not to do this for any reason is a moron. Of course not all of the panels would be in one place, they would be on every build (specially commercial flat roofs) This spreads the infrastructure out to a redundant system far safe than what we have right now, and it would be backedup by generation that could support a minimal of needed grids. As far as the cost goes, someone slap these people, please, panels have a 25yr life, and even without rebates etc. they have a 10-12 yrs payout, compared to oil generators, so you mean to tell me that getting 15 yrs of power for FREE compared to the amount you now pay is somehow expensive? FOOLS. The trick is to make the companies sell them for a fair and reasonable amount, not the extorted price that it is now. ANYONE WHO ISNT DOING THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE WORLD!! If you are the type coming up with BS reasons not to do this YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, I dont care if you just buy 1 panel a month or every other month and are hooking it up then you are becoming the solution. If you can't afford it, them stop doing something like paying for tv, and save your money.

Yes I did stop watching tv, and yes I do have solar, I have enough power for the REST OF MY LIFE, can you say that?
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People want to believe that there's a simple solution to all of our problems if only corporations and negative people would get out of the way. *sigh*

Any of you arm-chair energy experts ever had a solar array for your home? I'm guessing no. The grid is cheaper, easier and with little to no servicing. Any of you guys ever go outside a few times a day to knock snow off your panels? How about check a few dozen batteries for corrosion and to top off the water? Let's not forget putting diesel in the generator so that when the batteries run too low you have some way of living, especially at night or when it's overcast for several days in a row. To top it off, you're paying three or more times for the power you've generated than if you just bought it from the grid.

Things are so easy for those who've never done it.
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All sorts of silly claims get made for solar. Most of the time they simply take the peak solar output, translate that to watts, multiply by 24 hours, and then show a tiny dot for the area needed to generate sufficient power.

Of course, you need to double the area to account for night time, and double it again to account for non-sunny days, downtime due to maintenance, etc. At best you can collect about 0.19 kw per square meter per day. The U.S. uses 333 GW (that's 33 million KW). so I get an area of about 370,000 square kilometers, which is about the size of Montana. Hey - let's roof over Montana! How much could that cost?

Don't believe me? Cover you house with solar cells. It'll cost you round $20 k, and you might be just able to generate enough to power your home, at least some of the time, if you are very careful. Of course, homes account for only a percentage of our total electrical usage. And you'll also never make back your investment.

Siemens sells solar cells, right? That would explain a few things...
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