Is There Enough Solar Power for the Entire World?

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It’s been a while since I wrote a post reminding us all exactly how little area is required, in relative terms, to provide enough solar power for the entire world.  Numbers are cool, but graphics are better.  Below is a map that shows the swath that we’d need to take out of Northern Africa in order to get the job done.

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an area of 254 km x 254 km would be enough to meet the total electricity demand of the world. The amount of electricity needed by the EU-25 states could be produced on an area of 110 km x 110 km. For Germany with a demand of 500 TWh/y an area of 45 km x 45 km is required, which concerns 0.03 % of all suited areas in North Africa

We all need to keep the truth in mind as we contemplate the appropriate energy policy for Earth in the 21st Century, i.e., our planet receives 6000 times more energy from the sun every day than all seven billion of us can consume here.  We have it within our grasp to transform ourselves into a civilization that pulls itself back from the brink of extinction by migrating to clean energy.  Let’s do it.

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