FREEING ENERGY

How much land is required for various electricity generation methods?

The land required for each kind of power plant to generate a gigawatt hour (GWh) of electricity

Land required for generating electricity

Land useElectricity generated over 75 years (GWh)Acres per GWh per yearReclamation options
Solar25.008.33 (perpetual)Remove panels and dual-use
Nuclear (mining)16.6616.66 (only once)Very high cost (radioactive)
Coal (mining)11.1111.11 (only once)Costly (<1% reclaimed)
Wind2.9026 (perpetual)Remove turbines and dual-use
Hydro2.5030 (perpetual)Drain dam + restoration
Biomass0.40188 (perpetual)Replant trees

(Download the full spreadsheet here using the button at the bottom right of the embedded spreadsheet)

Each type of land has its own sources and analysis. Here they are:

This data is used in the article: When it comes to land impact, does solar, wind, nuclear, coal, or natural gas have the smallest footprint?

Code: m129 GWhLandComp math xbMath

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